March 15, 2014

Dubai Aims To Be City of Gold Standard in Tech
What is interesting is that a lot of companies see the Expo as a catalyst for growth and innovation, particularly in the tech sector. In truth, it’s a massive challenge. The UAE as a whole ranks low in terms of innovation and investment. According to a World Bank report it comes in at 39, below Costa Rica and Romania. As world tech cities go, it doesn’t fare any better. Dubai didn’t feature in a World Economic Forum report this month and it doesn’t feature in various lists of the World’s top areas for tech startups.

How Target detected hack but failed to act
A team of security professionals was set up in Bangalore to monitor Target's network servers and alert security operators in Minneapolis of any detected malware. And this process worked as expected during the November hack. After detecting the hack, the people in Bangalore alerted the people in Minneapolis. But that's where the ball got dropped, according to Bloomberg. The hack continued on its merry way. Why was the hack successful despite all the warning signs? Bloomberg's sources pointed to a few reasons.

Exchange CEOs say they are on high alert over cyber security
More than half of the world's exchanges were hit by cyber attacks in 2012, according to a paper released last year by the World Federation of Exchanges Office and the research department of the International Organization of Securities Commissions. "We are worried a lot and we are far more worried now than we were just a couple of years ago," Magnus Bocker, chief executive of Singapore Exchange Ltd, said during a panel discussion at the Futures Industry Association conference in Boca Raton, Florida on Wednesday.

CA Technologies Partners with the Wharton School's Mack Institute for Innovation Management
"Software is disrupting many industries and fundamentally redefining business models. CA Technologies has been one of the leaders in the enterprise software space for nearly 40 years, and its solutions are at the center of the world's largest and most complex enterprises. With this rich industry heritage and focus on continued innovation, CA Technologies brings a very valuable perspective to the Mack Institute," said Mack Institute Co-director Nicolaj Siggelkow.

Long Live Television: Digital Video Ad Convergence Keeps TV Relevant
Now, TV as an ad platform has started to absorb many of the characteristics of the digital ad world (i.e. rich viewing data, enhanced measurement techniques, etc.)…our participants agreed that this presents TV companies, which already have large audiences, valuable content and tens of billions of dollars in advertising revenue, with the opportunity to be pivotal players in the future of video advertising. The Nielson report went on to form this general conclusion about Digital Video Ad Convergence: For this convergence to take place, the advertising industry will need to embrace video as a platform agnostic medium. Then video, not the delivery channels, becomes the medium.

IT Age Discrimination: You're Not The Dinosaur
In my last column, I wrote that if you've had a rich, accomplished career and you've kept your skill set sharp, there's more work to be had and done. One snarky reader replied: "Yeah, move to India." Really? So you're saying on one hand that you're expert, skilled and motivated? But on the other hand, you're saying there's nowhere else in the U.S. for you to contribute value and get paid for it? Perhaps you're not looking beyond the big, idiotic IT employers. It's time to take a look at small and midsize companies, those that are growing quickly and whose business practices aren't steeped in generations of dysfunction and shortsightedness.

Embarcadero buys CA's Erwin data modeling tools
The acquisition puts Embarcadero in the lead of the data modeling market, according to Al Hilwa, program director for application development software research the IT analyst firm IDC. The data and systems modeling market will grow in the next few years, as organizations work to implement and manage big-data-styled collection and analysis systems, Hilwa said. To meet customer expectations, tool vendors must integrate modeling with other aspects of system building and maintenance, such as project planning or investment management.

A World-Class London Needs Free, Fast Broadband
Surely, making London a single free zone providing secure, reliable and comprehensive WiFi and other modes of internet access is vital if London is to continue attracting talented people to live and work here? Some power-brokers have long talked a good game on this front. Mayor of London candidate Brian Paddick in 2008 said he would cut Transport for London’s advertising budget to invest in free city-wide WiFi for all. "London is a 21st century city and as Mayor I would want to see 21st century technology accessible to all," said Paddick.

Banks Pushed Toward Cloud Computing by Cost Pressures
"Financial services is experiencing a fundamental shift in enterprise IT while it suffers from a credit crisis hangover," says Tony Bishop, the chief strategy officer at 451 Research, who built one of the first internal clouds in financial services at Wachovia several years ago. A secondary reason for switching to the cloud is that the broader economy is shifting towards all things digitally delivered and consumed, over a variety of devices. "This is remaking how enterprise IT must support customers, employees, and partners," Bishop says.

OpenJDK and HashMap …. Safely Teaching an Old Dog New (Off-Heap!) Tricks
Achieving high performance when using "synchronized" requires low contention rates. This is very common, so in many cases, it is not as bad as it sounds. However once you introduce any contention (multiple threads trying to operate on the same collection at the same time) performance will be impacted. In the worst case, with high lock contention, you might end up having multiple threads exhibiting poorer performance than a single thread's performance (operating with no locking or contention of any kind).

Quote for the day:

"Leadership development is a lifetime journey, not a quick trip." -- John Maxwell

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