May 08, 2014

Apple and wearable computing: it's the software, stupid
Apple will play the long game to deliver the right combination. It already is. We know Nike sees it as a partner. We see Apple's recruitment of renowned experts from the medical, fashion and wearables fields. Great so far, but the products will need to have finesse. "These wearable devices will fail to be effective and people will toss them aside if there isn’t a good service layer that goes with them,” Ms. Ask told the NY Times. “The devices have to be able to walk a fine line between being invisible enough that you want to wear them all the time, but also being effective enough that you engage with them.”

SAP Shakeup: McDermott Speaks Out
Does the surprise resignation of SAP Executive Board member and tech leader Vishal Sikka portend a diminished role for the Hana in-memory platform? "Absolutely not," says SAP co-CEO Bill McDermott. Despite the appointment of an applications-development veteran, Bernd Leukert, to the top technology post and a recent change whereby Hana financial figures are no longer reported, McDermott tells us the in-memory platform remains at the heart of the company's long-range plans.

Apple details what can be recovered from locked iPhones
The document, entitled "Legal Process Guidelines for U.S. Law Enforcement," was posted on Apple's website yesterday and acts as a FAQ and instruction manual for law enforcement agencies and other government entities "when seeking information from Apple Inc. about users of Apple's products and services, or from Apple devices." Among other things, Apple details when it requires a subpoena for user information and when it requires a signed search warrant, a higher legal process with a greater burden of proof for law enforcement agencies. The document lays out, in some specificity, what information is available from Apple, including what data the company's technicians can recover from a locked iOS device.

The Biggest Impact on IT Firefighting & Business Agility – Data Centers
It’s well documented that humans are almost always the biggest single risk factor to the availability of systems. The more humans need to be involved, the more likely a mistake will get made and a failure will occur. We all talk about hardware failure and power failures, even viruses and software bugs, but if you want to reduce risk, you reduce the human touch factor. The simple answer is that you need a combination of three things: good leadership, excellent process/automation, and solid training. When it comes to owning and operating a data center as a system, it begins to get a little more complex. Most organizations fail to treat the data center as a system and are constantly dealing with components or services independent of the DCaaP.

Not Another Framework? Part 2
In business architecture the capability model has become ubiquitous. And in thinking organizations I observe delivery of highly independent service and solution components that reduce dependencies and the impact of change, as well as mirroring the IT architecture on the business organization. Why wouldn't we use the same approach in defining a set of activities to deliver services and solutions? If you are uncertain about the capability concept, it’s important to appreciate that the optimum business capability is one that enables: maximum cohesion of internal functional capability, plus consistency of life cycle, strategic class, business partition, standardization, customizability, stability, metrics and drivers; and defined, stable dependencies that are implemented as services

Countering security threats outlined in latest Microsoft report
"The report continues to reinforce that it's critical to deploy advanced tools at the endpoint that can detect anomalies, such as malware that evades signature-based tools like anti-virus," Thompson said. Microsoft also found that criminals were getting better at using "deceptive downloads" to infect computers. Such tactics included bundling malware with free programs and software packages that can be downloaded online. Given criminals' skills in evading malware detection technologies, CSOs should focus "on building cohesive security controls across their complete environment, filling in the gaps between defensive technologies," Conan Dooley, security analyst for consultancy Bishop Fox, said. "This increases the chances of detecting new attacks, as well as those using previous methods," Dooley said.

Warning: Failure to comply with data center maintenance is reckless
Complying with modern data center best practices for design and operations is challenging enough, but facilities must be properly maintained to keep up a reliable level of service. A good program for operational practices and data center maintenance brings out the full value of investments, especially if the data center is certified by organizations such as the Uptime Institute or TIA. The data center is a potentially dangerous place for people and equipment. Good maintenance, written operating practices, regular training and rules enforcement will avoid injuries and outages and prolong equipment service life and reliability.

HP looks to ease enterprise IT cloud fears
HP is targeting Amazon, Google, IBM and Microsoft -- companies that are already strong cloud players. The company says its focus on private clouds, and thus on security for large enterprises that want to take advantage of the cloud's scalability and other features, and be able to touch and look after their own data, will provide a competitive edge. At this point, there are plenty of vendors that can help enterprises build their own cloud systems, but most are small, new businesses. HP believes it has an advantage as a tech industry giant, but it's a big player in a relatively small pond. "Server huggers will be interested in this," said Gartner analyst Lydia Leong, referring to "those organizations that want to build and run things themselves.

How to manage contractual risks in cloud computing
"If it doesn't, it must be challenged and any inadequacies should be dealt with. If this isn't done, the risk is that the service contract for cloud services that may prove to be lacking later down the line. The same goes for pricing, service levels and service credits, rights to exit, rights to change the services, security plans and standards, disaster recovery arrangements and governance arrangements," added Bratby. At this stage, subject matter experts, commercial leaders and lawyers should be roped in to help with the review, he advised. Second, the service contract must enable the business to comply with its own obligations, be they contractual, regulatory and legal, according to the lawyer.

Type Annotations in Java 8: Tools and Opportunities
Annotations have also played a central role in making developers more productive through techniques such as metaprogramming. The idea is that annotations can tell tools how to generate new code, transform code, or behave at run-time. For example, the Java Persistence API (JPA), also introduced in Java 1.5, allows developers to declaratively specify the correspondence between Java objects and database entities using annotations on declarations such as @Entity. Tools such as Hibernate use these annotations to generate mapping files and SQL queries at run-time.

Quote for the day:

"Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire." -- W. B. Yeats

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