February 28, 2014

Five Essentials for Successful Information Security Training
The hype over the latest security breach in the headlines always fades away. Business executives, network users, and even IT professionals talk the talk when the topic is hot – making promises to do better. In a very predictable fashion, people get back to their old ways of doing things. They then proceed to let their guard down. And then it happens, again. Another big security breach. If there’s anything positive that comes from this common mode of operation it’s that small, incremental changes are often put in place, both through people, business processes, and technical controls.

Security researchers urge tech companies to explain their cryptographic choices
Fourteen prominent security and cryptography experts have signed an open letter to technology companies urging them to take steps to regain users' trust following reports over the past year that vendors collaborated with government agencies to undermine consumer security and facilitate mass surveillance. ... The letter was an initiative of the advocacy group Electronic Frontier Foundation and outlines 10 principles, both technical and legal, to which signatories believe technology companies should adhere.

10 public cloud security concerns you shouldn’t ignore
It’s not news that businesses are moving more of their data to the cloud. But even as cloud storage and computing have hit the mainstream, there are a lot of questions around the public cloud – ones that not everyone is asking. For Mark Russinovich, technical fellow of Microsoft Corp.’s Windows Azure cloud platform group, the public cloud has helped businesses grow, but there are still many concerns for data security and privacy. He pulled together a list of 10 concerns that security professionals should consider when putting their organization’s data into a public cloud.

ThoughtWorks Interview: Agile Principles & Global South
Many people are extremely passionate about Agile software development. It is a model which strives to be collaborative and is based on solid democratic principles of sharing expertise. The Agile Manifesto describes how: “We are uncovering better ways of developing software by doing it and helping others do it.” In fact, at over a decade old Agile still generates a bizarre mix of either excitement or fear in a lot of organisations.

China’s President Will Lead a New Effort on Cybersecurity
“Efforts should be made to build our country into a cyberpower,” Mr. Xi said in a statement released after the first meeting of the group on Thursday, according to the official Xinhua News Agency. The announcement comes as Mr. Xi is solidifying power, mounting a bold crackdown on corruption at the top of the Communist Party and pushing through overhauls aimed at strengthening and restructuring the country’s economy.

10 tips for surviving your new leadership role
Being dropped into a role of leadership is both a compliment and burden. And it can be a bit overwhelming, too. With expectations coming at you from the top and bottom, it's difficult to know where to start. Here are 10 tips garnered from colleagues and personal experience, each one vitally important in successfully managing both campaigns and staff.

Google Android chief: Android may be open, but it is not less secure
Naturally, responding in such a self-critical fashion would have raised a few eyebrows. However, Google has provided a full transcript of the executive's commentary -- one which sheds a very different light on the issue. Instead of Android not being geared towards security, Pichai actually said that the open nature of the platform gives the OS better scope in threat protection -- as many minds, developers and security experts can pitch in and both fix problems and shore up defenses.

Cloud security concerns are overblown, experts say
Today, though, security concerns are still the major inhibitor of cloud adoption at many large companies. The concerns are most significant among those IT executives considering a cloud migration. Those who have already made the leap appear mostly satisfied with cloud security, the panel agreed. An Intermap survey of 250 decision makers at medium and large companies found that 40% of those who described themselves as "cloud-wary" cited security as their biggest impediment to adoption. In contrast only about 15% of "cloud-wise" respondents felt the same way.

Four Tips for Walking Your Innovation Talk
Employees at all levels take their cues from management, which makes it essential that senior executives practice what they preach. And that means a climate of innovation must start at the top, ideally with senior leaders who are both inspiring and dedicated. Through years of innovation training for the world’s foremost companies, my firm, futurethink, has identified an effective formula for leadership role modeling.

How to be recognized as a young leader
“What are some good ways to get recognized as an emerging young leader in your organization without sounding like you’re trying to toot your own horn?” My mother always told me if you just kept your head down and did good work, you would get ahead in your career. While there is certainly some truth to that advice, there’s a lot more to it when it comes to getting noticed for your leadership potential.

Quote for the day:

"I don't think you can ever do your best. Doing your best is a process of trying to do your best." -- Townes Van Zandt

February 27, 2014

An introduction to SDN can help server admins reach across silo lines
Network-specific challenges include tracking the location of production workloads within the physical infrastructure. Orchestration and automation enable horizontal scaling and can request both network and compute services based on the needs of the application. This isn't an approach for just virtual servers; it also allows for big data applications that scale their physical footprints based on the size of the data. The ability to have what are called northbound and southbound application programming interfaces (APIs) from the virtual network to the physical network is what enables these new capabilities.

Q&A: Gunjan Sinha of MetricStream on Evolution of GRC
Now there is real weight behind this stuff, and putting weight behind it is how to change culture, and to link compensation to this. The whole business of governance, risk and compliance has to become pervasive and go down to each and every employee, supplier, vendor, stakeholder, and can’t be limited to the select few trying to make this happen. A five-year headline–what I’m seeing in the next five years–is a pervasive cultural transformation of compensation linked to these cultural changes. It is becoming a proactive science rather than the reactive process and the way people were dealing with it before.

Partners with R
There's a lot of excitement from everyone at OpenBI surrounding the soon-to-be-released RScript transformation plugin for Pentaho Data Integration. With its rich, open source functionality, PDI's long been OpenBI's platform of choice for ETL, data integration and wrangling. Now its considerable capabilities can be combined in transformation flows that promote the building of R data structures from complicated inputs, as well as facilitate computations in R that broadcast to, for example, model-scoring and report-writing steps. We believe PDI-RScript can be a productivity boon for data science professionals.

A Telepresence Machine to Watch the Kids or Visit Grandma
The Beam+ is designed so that once installed in a home, anyone with the login credentials can bring it to life and start moving around. The operator’s interface shows the view from a camera over the screen, as well as a smaller view looking down toward the unit’s base to aid maneuvering. A user drives it by moving a mouse over their view and clicking where they want to go. The first 1,000 units of the Beam+ can be preordered for $995, with later units expected to costs $1,995. Both prices include the charging dock to which the device must return every two hours.

RSA's Coviello breaks keynote script, takes on NSA controversy
He used company history to set RSA up as an agent for change. He outlined RSA's early work with the government, on open source toolkits and the evolution of algorithms before he took mentioned the NSA controversy. "Unlike nearly 20 years ago when we were seen as leading the charge against the government to secure the privacy of digital infrastructure, we've been accused of being on the other side of that battle," Coviello said. He went on to say the situation called for context on the state of the industry and the state and evolution of RSA's business.

Has Hybrid Cloud Arrived ? Part 1
Hybrid cloud enables organisations to innovate faster by enabling rapid, self-service provisioning of resources, with the choice to deploy workloads in an enterprise’s own data centre or in the public cloud in a pay-as-you-go and scaled out manner. Hybrid clouds enable multiple use cases such as dev/test, capacity augmentation and disaster recovery besides control of Shadow IT. There is an increased trend towards hybrid cloud as it offers flexibility to respond quickly to business needs and allows reduction in cost.

eBook | Network Security Now
The IT Security threat landscape has changed quickly - and now businesses themselves are changing quickly as well. As mobile and cloud computing continue to remake enterprise IT, how can security keep up? In this FierceITSecurity eBook, IT and networking professionals will find practical, real-world advice on how to handle network security now. Download this free eBook today to find out: Tips for dealing with budget limitations; Keys to setting smart policies; How to educate employees; and Benefits of prioritizing risks

Flash technology infiltrates the data center with SSD systems
A growing number of companies are deploying flash technology with SSD systems. Though far from perfect, SSDs provide compelling benefits. Enterprises need to balance high costs vs. dramatic performance improvements as SSD storage encroaches on HDD storage in the data center. Solid state drives (SSDs) came into high-performance enterprise, military and industrial data centers nearly 25 years ago, for niche applications that needed real-time cache and where the environment was too harsh for standard magnetic hard disk drives (HDDs).

Get Ready for Big Data to Take the Wheel: Rosabeth Moss Kanter
Vehicles are beginning to dynamically interact with roads and each other. An estimated 900,000 front-to-rear vehicle crashes per year in the U.S. cause injuries and deaths and cost about $2 billion, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Equipping cars, trucks and buses with sensors and network connections can ensure that vehicles avoid danger, saving lives and money. Technology is also changing where and when we drive.

The Technical and Social History of Software Engineering
Capers Jones wrote the book The Technical and Social History of Software Engineering in which he provides an overview of the evolution of information technology and software development. The book starts by describing the human drive towards faster computation, followed by 9 chapters that cover developments in software engineering from 1930 until 2010. Major software failures that have happened in these years are explored in a separate chapter. The final chapter of the book describes ongoing developments and provides a projection of the future until 2019.

Quote for the day:

"Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal" -- Henry Ford

February 26, 2014

Amazon's WorkSpaces: Why is it needed?
While WorkSpaces are based on Windows Server and include traditional office applications, they can be linked to a wide variety of devices through custom WorkSpaces clients. These devices harmonize the applications' GUI (essentially, Windows 7) with the specifics of the client devices. Amazon uses the Teradici PCoIP protocol to create a secure link between the WorkSpaces instances in the cloud and the clients, and because the protocol carries only the GUI and not the underlying application data, there's inherently less exposure of secure information as well as encryption and authentication (via Active Directory) protection for applications.

RSA 2014: Principles key to digital world, says Microsoft
Adherence to the principles of security, transparency and privacy means that Microsoft does defence and not offence, said Charney. It also means Microsoft does not put back doors in its products and services, which in any case would be economic suicide, he said. “People have asked if our Defender anti-virus product will raise alerts if it finds government surveillance software, but the answer is simple. We don’t care what the source or the motive of malware is.

Coca-Cola’s New Marketing Map: Is It Better?
This blog entry focuses on two issues: What went wrong with Coke’s social media marketing? and How can Coke get more bang for fewer bucks? The nadir of Coca-Cola’s disconnect with fans and readers is its millions of Likes, which often result in fewer than 100 comments. Its largest market is the US; this is where its weakness is most evident. Meanwhile, Diet Coke faces rising concerns over artificial sweeteners. Coca-Cola has announced that profits fell by 8.4 percent in the last quarter of 2013, and it is now eyeing US$1 billion in cuts.

eBook: Fundamentals of SQL Server 2012 Replication
Fundamentals of SQL Server 2012 Replication provides a hands-on introduction to SQL Server replication. The book begins with a short overview that introduces you to the technologies that make up replication. In the following chapters, the book will walk you through setting up different replication scenarios. All hands-on exercises are designed with security best practices in mind. When you're finished working through the exercises, you will be able to implement your own multi-server replication setup while following the principle of least privilege.

DataStax adds in-memory option to Cassandra database
Besides being fast, the in-memory option introduced with DataStax Enterprise 4.0 is also easy to use, and allows developers to treat in-memory objects the same way they would regular Cassandra tables. The platform is based on the 2.0 release of the open-source database, which adds support for lightweight transactions and includes improvements to the native query language that make it a bit easier to import data from relational systems. That helps clear a migration path for slow-moving enterprises with large-scale Oracle investments to sustain—a task that consumes a lot of time and resources but doesn’t generate any quantifiable value.

Five Things Developers Need to Know About PaaS
As with any new technology or approach to doing business, PaaS will appeal to different groups for different reasons. The clear business value is that PaaS is added at the application layer. For ISVs, PaaS can help extend the availability of a traditional software product or enable organizations to add new capabilities to their existing IT spectrum. It's also helpful to anyone wishing to achieve productivity gains, speed time to results, or reduce their costs. But like any technological shift, PaaS adoption requires changes in how people work and demands collaboration if it is to be as successful as possible.

SQL Server Indexed Views: The Basics
Indexed views can be a powerful tool, but they are not a 'free lunch' and we need to use them with care. Once we create an indexed view, every time we modify data in the underlying tables then not only must SQL Server maintain the index entries on those tables, but also the index entries on the view. This can affect write performance. In addition, they also have the potential to cause other issues. For example, if one or more of the base tables is subject to frequent updates, then, depending on the aggregations we perform in the indexed view, it is possible that we will increase lock contention on the view's index.

How to dispose of unwanted backup media
Whether you write your backups to removable media, spinning disks, or some combination of the two, your backup media will eventually wear out and need to be replaced. Of course, this raises the question of how best to dispose of unwanted backup media. The problem with backup media disposal is that your backup media contains sensitive data. Even if the data really doesn't seem all that important, there is no shortage of surprisingly creative uses for various forms of stolen data. As such, it is clearly in your best interest to make sure that the contents of old backup media do not fall into the wrong hands.

Microsoft launches technical preview of Emet 5.0
Version 5.0 adds two new protections for enterprises on top of the 12 built-in security mitigations included in version 4.1. First, an attack surface reduction mitigation helps enterprises protect third-party and custom-built applications by selectively enabling Java, Adobe Flash Player and Microsoft or third-party plugins. “Enterprises can configure Java to load on the intranet for line-of-business applications but not on the internet,” Ness told Computer Weekly. “Most businesses need Java only internally, but this opens them up to vulnerabilities on the internet. Emet 5.0 enables enterprises to block Java where they do not need it,” he said.

Samsung beefs up Knox mobile management software
With the update, however, Samsung will allow some third-party MDM and enterprise mobility management (EMM) vendors to run in an untrusted state on the personal side of a device. Software from MDM vendors Good, Mobile Iron and Fixmo will be allowed to run on the personal side. Good's software will work better on a Samsung device than any other device, Samsung asserted. The cost of Knox 2.0 service will be $3.60 per user per month with pricing discounts for larger volumes. IT shops will be able to sign up for Knox software online. Injong Rhee, Samsung's senior vice president of research for business-to-business mobile communication, led the Knox briefing for Computerworld.

Quote for the day:

"The secret of joy in work is contained in one word: excellence. To know how to do something well is to enjoy it" -- Pearl Buck

February 25, 2014

Cloud security tools only half the battle against shadow IT
To get at the root of shadow IT, corporate IT must make itself more appealing to business units and beat cloud service providers at their own game. "It's really about communication and training," said Softchoice's Kane. "In many cases, that's not really in the wheelhouse of an IT person's skill set. But that can certainly change." Softchoice learned through its experience that it had to do a much better job of offering training on applications, and more importantly, communicating the reasons for security and compliance policies that it had put in place, Kane said.

7 hidden dangers of wearable computers
As with most Internet-connected devices, the growing proliferation of wearables has spawned both privacy and security concerns. Wearable technologies enable capture and collection of amazingly detailed information about an individual’s life, including their lifestyle choices, personal health, location, movement and daily routines. Without the right privacy controls, such data could end up being used in ways never imagined or intended. And without the right security controls, data gathered by such devices could enable identity theft, stalking, fraud and other crimes.

6 Skills CEOs Prize In CIOs
The better question to ask is: Which skills do most CEOs want their CIOs to have? So let's discuss what your boss will expect of you. Here's where it gets complicated. Regardless of whether the CIO reports to the CEO, has a dotted line to the CEO, or is married to and has children with the CEO, the CEO is your ultimate boss. And the CEO very much cares about the folks who run other mission-focused business units: your peers. To make matters more complex, those peers are also your customers.

The commercial case for open source software
With a rich pedigree of success in the server room, open platforms eventually moved upwards through the commercial sector and across to government in many developed nations. What open source in these (and other mission-critical implementations) demands is not only the strong active developer community that typifies any open code base — it also very often needs a level of expert support and maintenance that works at a more formalised level than that which is available for free through the community.

Are the best CIOs from non-tech background?
There are two school of thoughts that exist, one that thinks a CIO can be truly successful if he has got a technical background. But off late we are witnessing CIOs becoming successful even without a technical background and the key to their success is their business acumen. There is no doubt that knowing technology is a per-requisite to become a CIO, but with enterprises outsourcing their technology infrastructure, a CIOs prime job now is to make IT department as a profit centre. We at CIO&Leader went and spoke to some of the top management of different organisations to find out what do they think about this topic.

Interview: The Power of Collective Insight
People are really amazed with the level of collaboration they can do – in part because it’s not limited only to BI. Jam is much more advanced in overall collaboration, so you can use it as a portal for lots of activities. You can collaborate directly from the BusinessObjects Infoview to see follow reports and see people’s comments and questions. But you can also see BI content through the Jam portal, where you have it as one of the facets of everything else you’re doing. For example, a sales person can see some BI content in a sales analytics forum, post a comment, and that comment can be viewed from the BI system.

Quality Code - Book Review and Interview
... quality code is code that, in order of importance, does what it is supposed to do, is bug free, and is well-crafted. Think of it as code that is ready for today, tomorrow, and next year. Code that does what it is supposed to satisfies the business and the user. Code that is bug free tries to stand apart from the imperfect world and handles things gracefully when it inevitably interacts with an imperfect world. Code that is well-crafted can be fixed, modified, and enhanced far into the future, hopefully breaking the cycle of the value-sucking rewrite that traditionally happens every few years.

Wi-Fi roaming starts to take flight with Hotspot 2.0
While making consumers' lives easier, Hotspot 2.0 could also help mobile operators offload more data demand from their expensive licensed frequencies. But to make it real, service providers have to both upgrade their network infrastructure and forge business deals with partners, both of which can be time-consuming, said analyst Peter Jarich of Current Analysis. On Monday, Boingo Wireless announced that its subscribers with Apple iOS 7 devices will be able to join 21 airport Wi-Fi networks automatically and free of charge.

Public, private and hybrid clouds: Beware of cloud washing
Where does cloud washing come into play? Private clouds are viewed as a combination of cloud's hyperefficiency and ease of provisioning with the control that enterprise IT wants. This permits participation in the cloud while lowering the perceived risk. However, the potential return on investment is low, as it offers only a slight improvement over current methods like virtualization.

Consumers Lead Rise Of Connected Storage
The file system, once seen as a staid and boring technology, has been completely transformed by the advent of computing mobility. Laptops made it possible for people to take their work on the road… and lose it. The first attempt to protect data on-the-go was a modification of backup, a tried and true IT function. Online backup services offered consumers the benefits of a professionally run datacenter. Data had begun a journey from local, hardware-bound file systems to the cloud.

Quote for the day:

“Do not judge me by my successes, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again.” -- Nelson Mandela

February 24, 2014

Lync and Skype together - here's how it will work
One of the main news stories from last week's Lync Conference in Las Vegas was that the next release of Lync would support not just Skype audio and IM, but also video. The intention is to provide tools that will allow the millions of Skype users to interconnect with Lync, providing new channels for businesses to connect with customers, users and partners. The big question, then, is how will it work? In the original Skype/Lync federation architecture, both signalling and media followed the same paths through the cloud federation service.

An IT auditor among us
Utter the word auditor, and many CIOs cringe. After all, IT auditors are professional nitpickers who identify problems and get CIOs to fix them. No matter that an auditor doesn't always understand how critical a given technology is to the business. No matter that a CIO is supposed to keep his company's enterprise resource planning system up and running, not take the system offline during business hours to review it for compliance with a lengthy checklist of controls.

How to Test the Security Savvy of Your Staff
User training is an essential part of any security program. Most employees aren't IT or security experts. Nor should you expect them to be. The purpose of security training and awareness is to provide all employees with basic security knowledge, as well as appropriate actions to take when presented with a possible security situation. Technology must be accompanied by awareness training to protect against social engineering and phishing, two common causes of data leakage and breaches. However, once you've spent time and budget delivering a terrific training program, how do you know your employees have retained the information they learned and are putting it to good use?

Free tools for Windows Server admins
There are endless software tools and utilities out there to help you in managing your network. Here are some of the best free ones. They can help you with deploying, maintaining, troubleshooting, and upgrading Window Servers, your domain, and aid with other miscellaneous network tasks.

Wanted: A Flipboard approach for the enterprise
I was recently talking analytics, data and enterprise software with a chief information officer at a massive company and the topic of user interface came up repeatedly. The problem: It's one thing to break down corporate silos, aggregate and define data and then distill it into knowledge. It's quite another to put that data and insight into a format that is actionable for the masses. In other words, we need a Flipboard for the enterprise. What's the corporate story for the day/month/quarter/year in data---revenue, churn, supply chain, day sales outstanding etc.---at a glance?

The 2014 Premier 100 IT Leaders: Reinventing themselves many times over
"Sometimes, it's about trusting other people," Marcante says. "I went and immersed myself in infrastructure and networks, and we doubled our production infrastructure and lowered operating costs in three years." After that, he went on to lead Vanguard's Six Sigma program, then moved again to manage Vanguard's high-net-worth business before moving back to IT. "Never say no to an opportunity because you feel scared or under-ready or not ready. Take the leap, because you're going to learn a tremendous amount," says Marcante. "It's a personal philosophy that I try to pass on to other people."

How OpenStack Storage fits in the larger open source OpenStack picture
In this interview, Ashish Nadkarni, a research director in the storage systems practice at Framingham, Mass.-based International Data Corp., explains how Swift, Cinder and an upcoming file-based OpenStack storage service fit into the overall OpenStack plan. Nadkarni also discussed the potential benefits and disadvantages of the OpenStack approach and how third-party storage vendors are working to integrate their products with theOpenStack platform. He cautioned that commercial vendors could put the open source project at risk with their attempts to promote their own hardware and concentrate on their own agendas.

Eight Politically Incorrect Statements About Innovation
I asked myself a different question today: What do I believe about innovation but simply avoid saying to be politically incorrect? What am I not saying? At the risk of being labeled a curmudgeon I’ve decided to state some things I believe to be true about innovation which may offend. Innovation is difficult and it doesn’t happen enough because of these eight impediments, so, this needs said.

Why Your Change Needs a Word of Mouth Strategy
According to a study by Ernst & Young, “People trust their friends and family much more than they trust corporate marketing media. Peer recommendations—not paid-for advertising, whether on social media platforms or in print—are what count.” The report emphasizes that, while personal recommendations have always mattered, their value is increasing. The study stated that the “social consumer” no longer shares their viewpoints with just a close circle. They share good or bad retail experiences online, where they are seen—and passed on—by countless friends of friends.

Weapons of mass data destruction
There's more to IT security than protecting the valuable data an enterprise obtains, uses and stores. How you dispose of it when the hardware it’s sitting on reaches end-of-life should be a major concern too. These days, only a fool thinks clicking 'delete' is enough to wipe data from a hard drive or that a quick disk reformat will do the trick. Smashing the drives with a hammer isn’t a smart move either. So how should the enterprise tackle this problem, and what are the best weapons of data destruction? IT Pro has been investigating.

Quote for the day:

"In matters of style, swim with the current; In matters of principle, stand like a rock" -- Thomas Jefferson

February 23, 2014

Paper cuts: the NHS prepares to go digital
“This is about moving away from paper health and social care records towards an electronic system that will capture critical records and will allow patients and healthcare professionals to have access to their records.” Jones explained how a variety of projects were enabling staff to work more efficiently, including by allowing doctors to digitally request test results. He described implementation as “going well”, thanks in part to a procurement programme supported by a Department of Health (DoH) scheme. “We’ve been successful in securing a commitment from the Treasury through the Southern Acute Programme for funding a fully integrated EHR system,” said Jones, who added the trust is on target to become paperless within four years.

Google Eyes 34 Cities for Next Step in Gigabit Fiber Expansion
Google has chosen 34 cities across the U.S. as the next sites for possible expansion of its gigabit-speed Fiber Internet service. The cities encompass nine metro areas and include Salt Lake City; San Antonio; Nashville, Tennessee; Charlotte, North Carolina; clusters of cities around Silicon Valley, including Mountain View where Google has its headquarters; Atlanta; Portland, Oregon; Phoenix; and Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina.

Why Obama's 'Voluntary' Cybersecurity Plan May Prove Mandatory
The framework lists four different buckets - or "tiers" - for judging a cybersecurity plan, from "partial" to the most sophisticated "adaptive." The plan allows a stakeholder to assess its plan's effectiveness and set goals for which tier it wants to reach, while also encouraging progression toward higher buckets. NIST referred to the report as "version 1.0," indicating that it plans to issue future iterations, and the agency presented a "roadmap" of key areas where the framework could be revised.

The great hiccup
The problems began with the discovery of a flaw in Bitcoin’s code at the start of February. Bitcoin is, in effect, a giant shared transaction ledger, recording who owns each individual unit of the currency at any one time. Everyone must use the same copy of the ledger—known as the “blockchain”—to prevent the same coins from being spent twice. The flaw, known as “transaction malleability”, muddles up the ledger so that successful Bitcoin payments do not appear to have been made. This could make it possible for hackers to trick badly-coded software—such as the proprietary Bitcoin wallets used by some exchanges—into sending money repeatedly.

How Data Creates Customer Value: Q&A with Anthony Bosco
Adding that little something special is a way to differentiate—it creates stickiness. I’m not enamored of gimmicks or techie stuff, but I see technology as a lever in the innovation and betterment toolbox. Technology can do three things. It can drive internal efficiency, which may be where it got its start years ago. It can optimize our own supply chain which enhances our value proposition in the marketplace. And we can use it to work with customers in this betterment spirit, to augment their value proposition in the marketplace. The third of these is most important.

Google Maps Gets Massive Update: Five Features to Know About
Like it or not, Google Maps is about to look radically different. Over the next couple weeks, Google is rolling out a new version of its Web-based Maps that’s been redesigned and rethought in just about every way possible. Google announced these changes at a conference last May, and rolled out the change to 20% of Maps users in preview mode. Now, the rest of the world’s Maps users are getting the new look. Try not to be shocked by the new design. The white bar on the left is gone—all you see at first is a map that consumes the entire browser window, with a simple white search box in the top left corner.

Is a restricted Internet our 21st century Prohibition? It’s starting in Britain
For all the positives offered by this free and open system, there is one critical problem with this kind of freedom, and that is the inability to control completely what type of content is distributed across the internet. For every 10 communities trying to make a positive impact on the world via the web, there is a manifesto filled of hate and bile. For everyone sharing pictures of their family holiday there is minority sharing the most disturbing and vile images that you can imagine. And between these polar opposites, there are many, many shades of grey.

How to Evolve Your Approach to Analytics in an Increasingly Social World
Social media analytics has previously focused on the content of posts – e.g., text of a Tweet – to measure consumer sentiment. However, to get actionable insight, companies need to take analysis further. Though it’s not the only step, investigative analytics can be a great first step for more complex analysis at massive scale. It allows non-data scientist users to “play” with social media data by asking iterative questions in near real time, regardless of data volume. Maybe marketing is monitoring Facebook and, thanks to a new query, they’ve decided to serve up a location-based coupon.

Data privacy, machine learning and the destruction of mysterious humanity
Our brains evolved to assess trade-offs best in the face of immediate, physical needs and threats. Should I run from that predator? Absolutely. Unfortunately, we still have these same brains. That’s why the camel crickets in my crawl space make me flip out, but giving my kids’ data to Disney World feels perfectly acceptable. Second, most of us feel that giving our data over to a private corporation, like Disney or Facebook or Google, has limited scope. They can only touch us in certain places (e.g., their parks, their websites). And what’s the worst those parks and websites are going to do? Market crap to us.

Embedded Analytics and Statistics for Big Data
Embedded analytics and statistics for big data have emerged as an important topic across industries. As the volumes of data have increased, software engineers are called to support data analysis and applying some kind of statistics to them. This article provides an overview of tools and libraries for embedded data analytics and statistics, both stand-alone software packages and programming languages with statistical capabilities.

Quote for the day:

“Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest.” -- Mark Twain

February 22, 2014

Everything old is bad and antiquated and not everything new is shiny and good.
The world's leading companies have come to realize that only when their customers are successful, will they be successful. In pursuit of their market leadership not only they need to spend time to look inside their business to know how things are getting done but also look outward to get deep understanding of their customers. Process has indeed come a long way from it humble routes amidst the early industrial revolution and Adam Smiths ‘Wealth of Nations’.

5 ways to encourage Business Transformation in Enterprise Architecture
We try and consistently fail to change the attitudes of our peers - opposing mindsets are now a common feature when implementing business transformation. It has long been the mission of EA practitioners to get the right people motivated in adopting a fully functional EA strategy. We've delved into the perspectives of the Enterprise Architecture industry and uncovered precisely this fact: EA practitioners just don't get the support of the CIO or executive management. Getting the 'buy-in' from stakeholders has become the main hindrance when asserting implementation

Hacking the Data Science
A quick thought that comes to mind when thinking about the image that shows data science as three overlapping circles. One is Business, one is statistical modeler and one is technology. Where further common area shared between Technology, Business and statistician is written as data science. This is a great representation of where data science lies. But it sometimes confuses the viewer as well. From the look of it, one could guess that overlapping region comprises of the professionals who possess all the 3 talents and it’s about people.

6 Out of 10 Android Apps a Security Concern
Webroot found that Android poses a greater security risk than iOS. Webroot identified a 384 percent increase in total threats to Android devices over 2012, and found more than 40 percent of the Android apps analyzed were classified as either malicious, suspicious, or unwanted. By contrast, more than 90 percent of the million-plus iOS apps that Webroot assessed were tagged as "benign," with seven percent marked as "trustworthy," and only a meager one percent identified as "moderate" risks. The lower instance of suspicious or malicious apps is a function of the vetting process developers must go through before apps are made available in the Apple App Store.

Why Your Car Won’t Get Remote Software Updates Anytime Soon
Software is rapidly taking over not only the entertainment console in cars, but also basic functions such as steering, braking, and acceleration, as more cars come with features such as adaptive cruise control and automated parallel parking. This can make it easier to diagnose and fix problems, but it also increases the risk for software bugs or even malicious attacks that might cause serious injury. ... to potentially improving safety by delivering fixes faster, remote updates could save automakers money.

The Kanban Survivability Agenda
The survivability agenda’s values of understanding, agreement and respect demand commitment, both initially and ongoing. These leadership disciplines are key to the impactful adoption of the Kanban Method - they’re protective of the pursuit of organizational learning that takes place inside the boundaries of the change initiative and they’re catalytic at its outward interfaces. Ostensibly about fitness – fitness relative to the competitive environment and fitness for purpose – the survivability agenda is really cultural.

How to Design Test Cases Using State Transition Testing Technique?
State transition testing is a form of Dynamic Testing Techniquethat comes in use when the system explained as a finite number of states and the evolutions between the states is ruled by the rules of the system. Another use of this technique when features of a system are characterized as states that converts to other state, this transition is explained by the method of the software

3 misconceptions about BDD
BDD has been often misunderstood among developers, QAs and even BAs. We often hear of teams saying that their project is using BDD, but when we check it out, it turns out to be using only a BDD tool for test automation - and not the BDD concepts itself. So in the end, we hear people arguing about the tools, and not about the ideas that inspired the creation of those tools. The output of that is a bunch of complaints that we see in blogs all over the internet - people that start to reject the whole idea behind BDD, only because they have tried to use a tool without first changing their attitude towards software development.

Continuous Integration: Scaling to 74,000 Builds Per Day With Travis CI & RabbitMQ
Travis CI relies heavily on third-party infrastructure. This allows us to focus on shipping new features and platform improvements that make our users happy. Working with 3rd party infrastructure also has challenges. For example, we’ve been using a hosted RabbitMQ setup for more than two years now. RabbitMQ has some unique properties for handling overly ambitious message producers in the system. When one or more processes on one virtual host produce more messages than the system can handle, RabbitMQ can block or limit other producers and consumers. Much to our frustration, this affected us a few times.

Adopting a Professional Compass for Information Architecture
With an IA compass in place, expressing the value that information architecture delivers to a business becomes clearer. The IA compass that I’ll describe is absent of theoretical and technical rhetoric and focuses on a greater good. This greater good is one that is most likely to resonate with our business and marketing colleagues. While it is important that they acquire a general understand of information architecture, they are more interested in how information architecture fits into their business model and delivers value.

Quote for the day:

"Pay no attention to what the critics say; there has never been set up a statue in honor of a critic." -- Jean Sibelius

February 21, 2014

Cyberattacks fallout could cost the global economy $3 trillion by 2020
That is the report's main finding—the global economy has yet to mount an adequate defense against the rise of cyberattacks. McKinsey and the World Economic Forum conducted a survey last year of 200 enterprises, tech vendors, and public sector agencies. The two other findings of the report are that executives in enterprise tech have a consensus on the seven best practices for cyberresiliency, and that cybersecurity is a CEO-level issue.

Who Can You Trust?
Contrary to common belief, integrity isn’t a stable trait: Someone who has been fair and honest in the past won’t necessarily be fair and honest in the future. To understand why, we need to abandon the notion that people wrestle with “good” and “evil” impulses. Except in cases of serious psychopathology, the mind doesn’t work that way. Rather, it focuses on two types of gains: short-term and long-term. And it’s the trade-off between them that typically dictates integrity at any given moment.

Google's Project Tango Sees All
Project Tango phones include a vision processing system, a depth sensor, and a motion tracking camera, along with the gyroscopes and orientation sensors found in other smartphones. They can be thought of as something like a mobile version of Microsoft's Kinect system. ... Given Project Tango phones, developers could create apps that, for example, tracked player movements accurately enough to determine whether a virtual laser blast from one player hit another player or an obstacle.

Microsoft's Free Security Tools - Summary
The series highlights free security tools that Microsoft provides to help make IT professionals' and developers' lives easier. A good tool can save a lot of work and time for those people responsible for developing and managing software. In the series we discuss many of the benefits each tool can provide and include step by step guidance on how to use each. Below is a summary of the tools covered in the series and a brief overview of each.

How Philips Altered The Future of Light
Listening to Philips executives map out the future can lead to a realization: Older digital technologies--the Internet, for instance, or smartphones--accentuate the impact of newer digital technologies, such as the LED. This is most apparent in a product like Hue. Internet connectivity makes the product controllable by smartphone, but also endows it with a vast capacity for improvements. "You could buy it now and it will keep getting better," observes Yianni, "because the evolution is now more in the software and in the app."

Privacy Threats You Need to Know About
A good understanding of the privacy threats is an important factor for preventing privacy violations. In order to provide such an understanding, this article discusses ten important privacy threats, namely government surveillance, data profiling, hacking of bank institutions, hacking of software companies, hacking of government health care websites, fake online complaints, using Facebook for background checking, hacking of delivery drones, hacking of cloud computing servers, and hacking of Google Glass.

Alternatives to RESTful API for accessing object storage
There are downsides or tradeoffs with this approach as well. First and foremost, there is greater latency, leading to longer response times. Anytime one interface must be converted to another, there will be more latency. In addition, the NAS experience is not identical. This is because the software conversion function is an interface convenience, not a replica of a NAS system with all of its features. The iSCSI response times also tend to be slower than native iSCSI storage (latency again) and are not accessible any other way than as iSCSI blocks.

Oral-B has a connected toothbrush. You don’t need it.
Oral-B says that the brush has a Bluetooth radio and will send your brushing data to you via an iOS or Android app, but it will also accept programming so you (or your dentist) can tell the brush where you want to spend the most time. The app also will show you news and weather or whatever while you are brushing, making those two minutes fly by. This would be so much cooler if the brush played the information while you brushed — the way my daughter’s musical toothbrushes play Selena Gomez songs.

Istanbul-based Finansbank manages risk and security using HP ArcSight, Server Automation
BriefingsDirect had an opportunity to learn first-hand at the recent HP Discover2013 Conference in Barcelona how Finansbank extended its GRC prowess -- while smoothing operational integrity and automating speed to deployment -- using several HP solutions. Learn how from a chat with Ugur Yayvak, Senior Designer of Infrastructure at Finansbank in Istanbul. The discussion is moderated by me, Dana Gardner, Principal Analyst at Interarbor Solutions.

From Imperative Programming to Fork/Join to Parallel Streams in Java 8
It is considered the largest language change since the advent of Java 20 years ago. To find detailed practical examples of how you can benefit from these features refer to the book Java 8 in Action: Lambdas, Streams and Functional-style programming written by the authors of this article and Alan Mycroft. These features enable programmers to write more concise code, and additionally they let programmers benefit from multi-core architecture. In fact, writing programs that execute gracefully in parallel is currently the preserve of Java specialists.

Quote for the day:

"Everyone needs to be valued. Everyone has the potential to give something back." -- Princess Diana

February 20, 2014

Debunking four myths about Android, Google, and open-source
The Guardian published a story, which they have since taken down, spreading FUD about Google, Android, Linux, open source, and licensing. The paper later published another article trying to get the Android facts right, but, well, they still don't. ... When all the MADA provisions are taken together, Edelman argues, they tie Google's apps into a near seamless whole.

How SDN and NFV simplify network service chain provisioning
SDN or NFV service chaining also makes the process of network upgrade simpler. Communications service providers, for example, have networks that are geographically distributed, so upgrading equipment requires travel. In addition, a single error can bring down the entire network and cause outages on interconnecting providers' networks. But with SDN and NFV, providers can create new chains that increase the efficiency and the capacity of their networks without radically changing hardware.

Gartner Says Master Data Management Is Critical to CRM Optimization
"Over the last several years, CRM software sales have outstripped overall IT spending," said Bill O'Kane, research director at Gartner. "CRM leaders must understand the benefits of the MDM discipline to CRM and make it part of their CRM strategy. MDM is critical to enabling CRM leaders to create the 360-degree view of the customer required for an optimized customer experience."  Mr. O'Kane said that organizations are moving to a more integrated CRM approach that focuses on the customer experience through improved customer engagement, across marketing, sales, customer service, e-commerce and all other customer-facing channels.

The Women Behind The Data
The buzz being made by Big Data has clearly made way for women wanting to get started in a data-driven field. Opportunities in Big Data are attracting women specializing in IT, data science, data management, software development and anything else data related. This could be because Big Data is a fairly new industry which has currently been met with great success. All the hype surrounding Big Data has made careers within this sector more appealing, especially for women looking to exercise their mathematical and analytical skills.

Pulling the Reins on Data Breach Costs
"That leaves you with two options," says David Mortman, chief security architect and distinguished engineer, Dell. "You can work to reduce your chances of a breach. Second, because breaches do happen, you can protect yourself from additional litigation due to a breach, says Mortman. And this is where state law comes into play: they ultimately determine what constitutes due care, and typically when an organization is breached and is following due care they are not as exposed to successful lawsuits.

Fashion house Paul Smith steers a hybrid path to IT excellence
"Agility and continuous innovation are also key measures and I would like to be in a position to be proactive," he says. The role of IT has changed over the past decade, says Bingham, and has become a way of delivering business strategy.  "IT used to be a necessary evil. While everyone needed IT, it was a tactical service for Paul Smith’s business. Now I think there is a seismic shift and IT is regarded as a strategic service to grow the business," he says. "IT is now a crucial element of the business and a strategic supporter and enabler."

Cisco fixes flaws in several products
The vulnerability addressed in Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS) Director stems from a default account with root privileges that gets created during installation. "An attacker could exploit this vulnerability by accessing the server command-line interface (CLI) remotely using the default account credentials," which would provide the attacker with full administrative rights to the system, Cisco said in an advisory. The vulnerability was addressed in Cisco UCS Director Release Hotfix

Cloud storage appliances: Backup and recovery made simple
OK, now that we're left with just the adults in the joint, let me put this in very simple terms that I am sure any stressed out, overworked CIO or CTO can understand: Your storage is very expensive. Like many organizations, you are probably always on the verge of having to buy another frame, another chassis, and trays of drives because you've got VM and filer sprawl. And the guy or gal who has the authority to sign the purchase orders to get you those new frames, chassis, network infrastructure, et cetera, likes to say no a lot.

10 mistakes to avoid in your disaster recovery planning process
Don't make your disaster recovery planning process even harder than it is by trying to do too much or cutting corners. Careful planning is your best bet for a successful recovery. At the start of the new year, many IT folks (and perhaps a few business managers) resolve to take steps to prevent avoidable interruption events and to cope with interruptions that simply can't be avoided. In short, they decide to get serious about data protection and disaster recovery planning for business IT operations.

SQL Server Security Checklist
There are many security related settings in the Microsoft SQL Server and you should also consider setting up processes to ensure that the security is maintained in the future. The security related tasks can be divided into four main categories: physical security, operating system level security, SQL Server configuration and user management. You should protect your server physically, have a secure OS and then you can start thinking about your SQL Server.

Quote for the day:

"The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn't said." -- Peter Drucker

February 19, 2014

Marginally Useful
Smith believes that cryptocurrencies will have wide application across business and culture, including both banking and online advertising. For banks, Bitcoin is “just a new source of money,” he suggests. “Banks are very hungry to advance their value through technology.” It’s easy to imagine, say, HSBCoin, or BarclaysBucks, giving investors who want choice in the currencies they use the services of a trusted financial brand.

Breaking Bad Leadership Habits
Despite being armed with greater access to knowledge and training than ever before, executives still need to be able to integrate that knowledge into their behaviour back at work. To do so, they must go through three major steps. First, one must identify a need for improvement. When we feel satisfied with our performance in a particular area, we don’t devote time and energy to improving it. The first step is hence to move from Unconscious Incompetence to Conscious Incompetence.

Preparing for the Future of AI, Where Robots Can Learn and Ask Humans For Help!
In a world full of self-driving cars, flying drones, and other robots, daily interactions with artificial intelligence will have a profound effect on how we live our lives. Elemental video scientist Boonsri Dickinson visited Carnegie Mellon robotics pioneer Maneula Veloso to talk about the science behind her robotic creations and the many years she has spent bringing autonomous robots to life. For video see this link and embedded below:

Why Big Data In The Enterprise Is Mostly Lip Service
For every Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Twitter, Netflix, and Google, I would wager that thousands of midsized and large organizations are doing nothing with big data beyond giving it lip service. That is, the fact that a CXO has heard of big data is hardly to the same thing as her company actually doing anything with the massive amounts of unstructured data flying at us faster than ever. This begs two simple yet critical questions: Why the lack of adoption? And how can organizations overcome the obstacles currently impeding them?

In praise of the humble smart plug: Are outlets the gateway for the internet of things?
There are two other considerations here: measuring energy consumption and determining location. Most smart outlets from big names like Lowes and Belkin as well as smaller startups like PlugAway or Parce now have some kind of energy measurement feature, which might be useful in figuring out if your TV is a high-cost plugged-in device for which you should cut off access to power when it’s not on. Some, like Parce, offer algorithms that will turn it off for you.

Intel stresses in-memory computing with 15-core server chip
Applications tied to in-memory computing such as databases will get a boost with new throughput features and memory capacity of 1.5TB per socket. The Xeon E7 v2 chips, code-named Ivytown, will run at clock speeds between 1.4GHz and 3.8GHz, and draw between 40 watts and 150 watts of power. Intel is shipping 20 new chips in that family with between two and 15 cores. The new E7 chips are two times faster than their predecessors released last year, said Diane Bryant, senior vice president and general manager of Intel's Data Center Group, during a webcast.

Where Lean Startups and Design Thinking Meet
Many lean startup practitioners have a tendency to treat everything as “pivotable.” This can be dangerous because it turns lean startup into a mechanistic trial and error exercise. The lack of intent makes it easy to get lost. To avoid this fate, it’s helpful to anchor lean techniques around an observed human need, which is supplied by design thinking. You never want to lose sight of the need you’re designing for as you undertake the lean startup.

Mobile devices are uprooting your CRM business processes
Mobile is disrupting today's business processes, which should prompt all of us to rethink how we work: Are there more efficient and effective ways to work that incorporate mobile? How do mobile devices and applications enable us to gather the most accurate and up-to-date knowledge and to use it? Let's consider some ways in which mobility has sparked needed change in our existing tasks.

Digital Independence: NSA Scandal Boosts German Tech Industry
Critics have begun warning of the "Balkanization of the Internet" and doubt whether merely storing data on local servers will protect it from American intelligence. ... As a result, companies like Deutsche Telekom have demanded that data be processed within Europe to the degree possible. But the idea, known as "Schengen Routing," has been received with skepticism by European Commissioner for Digital Agenda Neelie Kroes. "It is not realistic to contain data within Europe. You cannot put up border controls. That would destroy the openness of the Internet," she told SPIEGEL.

SQL Server SEQUENCE Basics
SQL Server now has the ANSI/ISO Standard CREATE SEQUENCE statement. Hooray! The bad news is that most programmers will not be aware of the significance of the underlying math. A SEQUENCE is not an IDENTITY. That propriety feature in T-SQL is a table property inherited from the old Sybase/UNIX days. It counts the number of insertion attempts, not even successes, on one particular machine. This goes back to how files were managed on UNIX systems in the 1970s. In those systems, you needed record numbers to locate the data, so T-SQL exposed this count as IDENTITY.

Quote for the day:

"Giving connects two people, the giver and the receiver, and this connection gives birth to a new sense of belonging." -- Deepak Chopra

February 18, 2014

Why a great networking engineer is like an application whisperer
The hard-to-swallow truth is that applications have always run the show when it comes to networks. This reality can be extra difficult to accept in organizations where the systems team is fronted by a less senior and often frazzled sys admin who -- if not wearing a red fire helmet and rubber boots -- at least always carries the faint scent of smoke and ash. Nonetheless, it is a truth we must come to terms with.

Getting your features out
Now we are at a point where we actually branch. Feature Branches evolve around the idea that each functional implementation is done in its own branch. The branches are pushed to the central repository, so each feature branch is available for each developer. Once the implementation is done, the developer starts a pull-request, and the changes are discussed in the team and merged to the master.

SDN in action: Pertino service lets users turn up a network without buying hardware
Pertino’s SDN is made up of two parts: A control plane that houses all of the information about the users, security credentials and network topology; and a data plane running on top of cloud-based virtual machines that can scale horizontally and are fault tolerant. This architecture allows for massively large scaling, segmentation among users’ networks and insulation from downtime from service providers Pertino works with, such as Amazon Web Services, Rackspace and others.

3 Leadership Tips for a Particular Kind of Entrepreneur: the Successor
The challenges of taking over a business from a father (or any powerful executive) are not insignificant. The transition at one client of mine was so unsuccessful that the father had to return from retirement to salvage the business from the son's ineptitude. I've seen companies succeed under a second generation's leadership, and I've watched others fall into bankruptcy only a few years after the change occurred.

Diebold's Mattes believes company can succeed by re-igniting its innovation
In a move to drive home the need to re-ignite innovation, Mattes and his management team brought 140 key employees from operations in 17 countries to Canton in late January. They spent three days at Kent State University at Stark studying new products and hearing about the need to work more with customers. "Diebold is not short of great people," Mattes said, while being interviewed during a break in the meeting. The company is filled with employees who have brilliant ideas, he said.

Data Profiling – Four Steps to Knowing Your Big Data
“Know thy data” is one of the fundamental principles of sound data science.1 Another name for this is data profiling. The article “Big Data – Naughty or Nice?” listed six foundational concepts of data science.2 Along with #2 “Know thy data,” the article listed five other data science “commandments” ... We expand on data profiling here by elucidating the following four steps toward knowing your data: data preview and selection; data cleansing and preparation; feature selection; and data typing for normalization and transformation.

SDN security issues: How secure is the SDN stack?
The SDN controller is a prime target for hackers because it is both a central point of influence in a network and a potential central point of failure. "If somebody is not paying attention to [the controller], it becomes an extraordinarily high-profit target for an attacker, who could very easily compromise [it], modify some of your code base and rescript control of your traffic in such a way that it's ex-filtrating data or stashing data somewhere where an attacker can sniff it," said Dave Shackleford, security consultant with Voodoo Security and lead faculty member at IANS.

PseudoCQRS, a Framework for Developing MVC Applications
With CQRS, the state of the customer object is held in memory, and the things that you persist to the data store are the actual events that occurred in the system that affected that customer. As you have a record of all those events, if you shut the application down and then start it up again, you can just run through all the events to restore the state of the Customer object, and the rest of the system. PseudoCQRS was created because we wanted to apply the CQRS pattern to an existing application - one that already has all the state information stored on a database

Whatever happened to the IPv4 address crisis?
The day of reckoning still looms -- it's just been pushed out as the major Internet players have developed ingenious ways to stretch those available numbers. But these conservation efforts can only work for so long. ARIN currently has "approximately 24 million IPv4 addresses in the available pool for the region," according to President and CEO John Curran. They're available to ISPs large and small, but Curran predicts they will all likely be handed out by "sometime in 2014."

A Chromebook offers Defensive Computing when traveling
Even using a Chromebook normally, with a Google account, still provides safety because Chrome OS encrypts all your files. There is no way another person using the same Chromebook can see anything of yours (assuming you don't give out your Google password). If you are going to lose a computing device, you want it to be a Chromebook. Your files are protected even if someone removes the solid state hard drive. And, unlike other operating systems, the encryption is stress free. That is, a Chromebook user does not have to enable anything, run anything or even remember anything, to have their files encrypted.

Quote for the day:

"Success in life comes not from holding a good hand, but in playing a poor hand well. " -- Kenneth Hildebrand

February 17, 2014

App delivery techniques: Virtualization and Web-based apps
Browsers are also delivering more native-like capabilities within their interfaces. In the iOS version of Safari, for example, you can make interface elements disappear as you scroll through the page content. But Web-based apps still pose many hurdles for IT. For instance, whenever application-state data -- the data stored in memory during a session -- must be updated, a screen refresh is required. If the user's connection is less than optimal, this refresh can affect performance.

Collect Your SQL Server Auditing and Troubleshooting Information Automatically
The idea is that since we do not know how often the default trace files are changing for each server, and since the files have a maximum size of 20Mb each (but they may be much smaller), it is actually more efficient to import them and merge them than to write custom logic to check which file was imported and which has not. (The performance overhead of importing 20Mb trace files and using the MERGE script is minimal. I performed a test by populating 1 million rows in each table by using Redgate’s Data Generator and even in such case the import was fast.)

Update: Third of Internet Explorer users at risk from attacks
The extension of the vulnerability to IE9 followed confirmation earlier yesterday that active attacks are compromising the newer IE10 and hijacking PCs running the browser. "Microsoft is aware of limited, targeted attacks against Internet Explorer 10. Our initial investigation has revealed that Internet Explorer 9 and Internet Explorer 10 are affected," a Microsoft spokesperson said via email today. With both IE9 and IE10 vulnerable, it means that about a third of all those using Internet Explorer are at risk.

Report: EU to push to reduce US role in Internet governance
The European policy paper seems to reject a U.N. takeover of Internet governance functions, by rejecting calls for a new international legal regime. The paper calls for a multistakeholder process that ICANN trumpets as its current model. An ICANN spokesman didn't have an immediate comment on the proposal. "The Internet should remain a single, open, free, unfragmented network of networks, subject to the same laws and norms that apply in other areas of our day-to-day lives," the E.U. document said, according to the Journal.

An Introduction to UX Design
UX is considered a discipline these days, which incorporates many aspects and will always include good UI design. The problem that many have wrapping their heads around UX is that there is a lot of conflicting information online and even many designers will give you a different definition than their peer might. It’s a little ‘fractured’ as a discipline because of this and simply because at its heart, UX incorporates a lot of ideas, research and theory, as well as practical application in the real world.

Linux Deepin is a fringe Linux distribution that could steal your heart
With a new desktop (DDE – Deepin Desktop Environment), Linux Deepin takes nods from nearly every desktop environment available and rolls it into one, elegant solution. Part Windows 7, part Ubuntu Unity, part KDE, part GNOME 3 (which DDE gets its base), this desktop brings to mind exactly what Microsoft should have done for Windows 8. You take a deeply embedded desktop metaphor and give it a modern twist, a flush app store, and make it scream on nearly any hardware. That’s what Linux Deepin did.

Is it Really Possible to Achieve a Single Version of Truth?
The road to SVOT is paved with very good intentions. SVOT has provided the major justification over the past 20 years for building enterprise data warehouses, and billions of dollars have been spent on relational databases, ETL tools and BI technologies. Millions of resource hours have been expended in construction and maintenance of these platforms, yet no organization is able to achieve SVOT on a sustained basis. Why? Because new data sources, either sanctioned or rogue, are continually being introduced, and existing data is subject to decay of quality over time.

Understanding atomic and composite patterns for big data solutions
Atomic patterns help identify the how the data is consumed, processed, stored, and accessed for recurring problems in a big data context. They can also help identify the required components. Accessing, storing, and processing a variety of data from different data sources requires different approaches. Each pattern addresses specific requirements — visualization, historical data analysis, social media data, and unstructured data storage, for example. Atomic patterns can work together to form a composite pattern. There is no layering or sequence to these atomic patterns.

Exploring the complexity of modern cyber attacks
Justifying ROI for information security can be a challenge. Information security is, in fact, a business problem, not an IT problem. The information security team should develop an information security strategy aligned with the company’s business imperatives and the various IT programs designed to support those business imperatives. A well-executed information security program should also deploy a security architecture that enables business focused outcomes (i.e. enabling the company to research and develop new products, to expand in existing markets or enter new ones, or to attract new customers) in secure ways.

Taking the first step towards better enterprise information management
Banks are under increasing pressure to meet regulatory demands and manage their business challenges. This could potentially create another wave of siloed data projects, if not carefully ‘governed’. While addressing tactical urgencies are important, there must be a strategic focus on having a coherent strategy for banks to leverage ‘data’ for growing, saving costs and staying compliant. The intent of this article is to convey the importance of having a good framework and the right guidelines to help banks make the right choices to be effective and efficient.

Quote for the day:

"I am reminded how hollow the label of leadership sometimes is and how heroic followership can be." -- Warren Bennis

February 16, 2014

NIST Framework Released to Widespread Praise, But What Happens Next?
The framework was widely praised at a high-profile release event in Washington, preceded by a statement from President Obama. The framework "is a great example of how the private sector and government can, and should, work together to meet this shared challenge," Obama said, adding that much more work needs to be done on cybersecurity, particularly the need for Congress to pass legislation that provides greater legal protection to spur greater cybersecurity information sharing.

The Case Against Wearables, Or Why We Won't All Look Like The Borg This Year
The problem: The hype is years ahead of the market. Big and unresolved questions remain about pricing (too high), battery life (too short), utility (too limited), looks (too ugly) and privacy (too scary). “We’re a ways away from the Borgification of the consumer,” says Bill Briggs, chief technology officer of Deloitte Consulting, which is predicting that 10 million wearable devices will be sold this year in a market valued at about $3 billion. (Compare that with 1 billion smartphones sold in 2013.) “We’re going to need to see new categories emerge and existing categories evolve.”

World’s Deadliest DDoS Attack Against A Company Which Was Fighting It
The new attack used the NTP reflection technique, involving the sending requests with spoofed source IP addresses to NTP servers with the intention of forcing those servers to return large responses to the spoofed addresses instead of those of the real senders. ... CloudFlare wrote in the blogpost that this had two effects: the actual source of the attack is hidden and is very hard to trace, and, if many Internet servers are used, an attack can consist of an overwhelming number of packets hitting a victim from all over the world.

New Data Center Design Drives Efficiency Gains for Dupont Fabros
“We recognize that in this industry, things change and evolve,” said Scott Davis, Senior Vice President of Operations for DuPont Fabros Technology (DFT). “We sat down with the design group and looked at the trends (n data center design). We took all those trends and came up with goals. The end result is (a data center that’s ) cheaper to build, requires lower maintenance, and has an industry leading PUE. We never save at the cost of reliability or resiliency.” The company expects annualized Power Usage Efficiency (PUE) UE to be below 1.14 at 75 percent capacity, and below 1.13 at 100 percent utilization.

Innovation is Inspiration: Lead in your Surroundings
Think “Smaller.” Not every innovation will produce a world of change today. A happy life, a well-done project, or a successful business is just the sum of their parts. Break down any problem into workable smaller parts. Take some simple action to quantify or identify just one part of a problem or activity, no matter how small or seemingly unimportant, and innovate a small change to that portion. You will see–it will move the process forward.

DataKind: Data Science for the Common Good
DataKind’s goal is to connect expert data scientists with social change organizations who are seeking to better manage, visualize and understand their data. Porway was most recently the data scientist in the New York Times R&D lab and remains an active member of the data science community. Scott Laningham, IBM Digital Journalist, spoke with him at the IBM Information on Demand 2013 conference in Las Vegas.

Modern Enterprise Performance Analysis Antipatterns
The specific examples that led to the distillates below are drawn from the Java ecosystem, but similar remarks apply to many other types of enterprise system. Each basic cause corresponds to some common cognitive bias. For example, Boredom andResume Padding both stem from a desire to escape the existing tech that a developer uses in his or her day job, and their aspirational desire for a better tomorrow. The antipatterns are presented below, in a style and format that should be reminiscent of the Gang of Four, as well, of course, as the antipattern format pioneered by Brown et al.

Secure Networks: How To Develop An Information Security Policy
While security methods provide protection for access and infrastructure, these methods should be the result of a carefully defined security policy. An effective security policy integrates well-known protection methods into a network in a way that meets both security standards and the goals of the entity being secured. An information security policy builds the foundation for a secure network, but it must be seen as valuable to an entity.

Australian standard published for IT governance
“The standard has been prepared to set out how significant IT projects can benefit through the use of appropriate governance frameworks and principles,” said Bronwyn Evans, Chief Executive Officer, Standards Australia, in a statement (PDF). “As the world we live in continues to change rapidly, organisations need to consider how they can deliver effectively today, while investing in technology for the future.” Evans said guiding successful projects, driving change within organisations, and achieving desired business outcomes, requires clear engagement between governing bodies and their senior executive.

Ramp Up Your IT Governance Model for IoT
Effective IT governance help converting the enterprise goals to IT goals and selection of appropriate enablers like policies, frameworks, organization structure, services, infrastructure etc. It will also help in selecting the rights processes that help in achieving the IT goals thereby helping achieving the enterprise goals and meeting governance objectives of meeting stakeholders needs and expectations.

Quote for the day:

"The best strategy for building a competitive organization is to help individuals become more of who they are." -- Marcus Buckingham