April 16, 2014

The road to the 60TB hard drive
While capacity on hard disk drives has been doubling every 12 to 18 months -- faster than Moore's Law and integrated circuits -- there is a coming sea change that will drive the capacity up 10-fold, according to hard drive maker Seagate. While that is remarkable, past changes and recent technology breakthroughs have led us to today's 6TB data center drives and 4TB desktop drives. Data storage is among the few techological advances that has actually surpassed our current needs.

Linux is about to take over the desktop but not like you think it will
For years I've heard that year X is the year of the Linux desktop and I've always scoffed at it. I scoffed because it's ridiculous to think that Linux or Mac OS X or anything could supplant Windows on the desktop. That is until now. And don't get me wrong, it won't happen for at least another year in businesses but for personal computing and BYOD, it's already happening. The Linux that's taking over the desktop is called the Chrome OS and it will happen on the Chromebook device.

CIOs should prepare for the battle between old BI and new BI
At MicroStrategy Inc., former COO and co-founder Sanju Bansal left in 2013 only to resurface at startup Hunch Analytics. SAP also signaled a new strategy in 2013, announcing a research-and-development shift away from traditional BI to "advanced analysis and agile visualization." Sommer expects the clash between old BI and new BI to continue. The way he sees it, three tipping points will eventually push the BI and analytics practice out of silos and across the enterprise. In their wake, both the BI and analytics market and the role of IT role will look different.

The Limits of Social Engineering
Deciphering people’s behavior is only the first step. What really excites Pentland is the prospect of using digital media and related tools to change people’s behavior, to motivate groups and individuals to act in more productive and responsible ways. If people react predictably to social influences, then governments and businesses can use computers to develop and deliver carefully tailored incentives, such as messages of praise or small cash payments, to “tune” the flows of influence in a group and thereby modify the habits of its members. Beyond improving the efficiency of transit and health-care systems, Pentland suggests, group-based incentive programs can make communities more harmonious and creative.

Smartphone Kill Switches Coming, But Critics Cry Foul
New York attorney general Eric T. Schneiderman and San Francisco district attorney George Gascón, the two officials who have led the charge for improved mobile device security, welcomed CTIA's response but said it falls short of what's necessary to fight rampant cellphone theft. "We strongly urge CTIA and its members to make their anti-theft features enabled by default on all devices, rather than relying on consumers to opt-in," said Schneiderman and Gascón in a joint statement. "The industry also has a responsibility to protect its consumers now and not wait until next year."

Predictive tech is getting smarter and more pervasive — but more controversial, too
“While we are still a long way off from building the omniscient Star Trek computer, the technology is getting better at a surprisingly fast rate,” Tuttle said. “It will start with special-purpose intelligent assistants that let you easily find information you need in specific domains. For example, if you work in sales support, you will likely rely on an intelligent assistant that understands your entire product catalog.” We’ll likely see plenty more predictive-focused products and services soon. Google Now has been a big success on Android; there are a slew of “smart” calendar apps out there trying to make sense of your schedule;

How GE Plans to Act Like a Startup and Crowdsource Breakthrough Ideas
It was a triumph of crowdsourcing—for a nominal price, GE used the knowledge of someone they would have never otherwise met to innovate its way out a design problem. It was also a proof of concept for the engineering behemoth’s new innovation strategy. Under Immelt, GE has invested a sizable chunk of its annual $6 billion R&D funds into taking advantage of a simple, internet-enabled truth: Now, more than ever, it’s possible to connect with people around the world, so why not take advantage of that to solve some engineering problems?

CIOs to Become In-House Brokers -- and That's a Good Thing
The idea of IT as a brokerage is just one aspect of the emerging role of the new CIO, one that looks more like a consultancy to the business rather than the keeper and controller of all things technical. In their new role, CIOs will lose a chunk of their budget. They'll no longer drive initiatives to adopt innovative technology. They'll be asked to maintain legacy systems, in addition to building skills in cloud services and system integration. ... "Successful IT leadership of the future is less about control and more about how you add value to the business," says CIO Chris Miller at Avanade. "We're trading control for new responsibilities."

Hackonomics: Street prices for black market bugs
As RAND explained, the black market for cybercrime, once a "varied landscape of discrete, ad hoc networks of individuals motivated by ego and notoriety, has now become a burgeoning powerhouse of highly organized groups, often connected with traditional crime groups (e.g., drug cartels, mafias, terrorist cells) and nation-states." Perhaps the drug trade analogy works in some aspects of RAND's report, published three weeks ago. However, a better analogy may be found in comparing the global black "cyber" market — and its compelling profitability — to the global market for arms trading, or IP and trade secrets.

Whitelisting: Filtering for advanced malware prevention
The whitelisting filtering approach can be used in every technology area an enterprise uses today. Specific types include application whitelisting, email whitelisting and network whitelisting. With advanced malware attacks increasing and evolving every day, it's a continuous challenge for enterprises to detect them or, ideally, prevent them. Therefore, whitelisting technology can stand out as a choice for an organization looking to add a solid defense layer against evolving threats, particularly zero-day attacks that endpoint antimalware products frequently fail to detect.

Quote for the day:

"It is a fine thing to have ability, but the ability to discover ability in others is the true test." -- Lou Holtz

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