June 10, 2014

“It Depends” and “I Don’t Know”
Just like Croesus, contemporary decision makers crave certainty. Executives are frequently called upon to synthesize multiple viewpoints, many of which may be outside their area of expertise, into a coherent decision. An expert’s opinion of what’s “right” can be a seductive thing. Likewise, technologists are often uncomfortable with ambiguity, and rightly so. Implementing contradictory requirements is difficult, to say the least. Uncertainty, however, is a fact of life. Pretending that it does not exist is neither honest, nor effective. Picking a number without any basis in reality does not serve to eliminate it. In fact, elimination of uncertainty is a fool’s errand. As Tom Graves stated in “Who will lead us out of our uncertainty”:

Salesforce.com: Let's Build Apps For Wearables
The heart of Salesforce Wear is a collection of open-source reference apps -- called the "Salesforce Wear Developer Pack" -- that helps developers build wearable apps that connect to the company's Salesforce1 mobile app platform. The "reference apps" provide examples of how Salesforce built apps for the aforementioned wearable device types. The company makes the code open source for developers to learn from and then use to build their own enterprise apps. It's no secret at this point that wearable devices are popping up quickly and creating new ways for businesses to connect with customers and employees. Research firm IHS predicts that roughly 50 million wearable units will be sold in 2014, and more than 180 million are predicted to sell in 2018.

Facebook Adds Another 9 to HBase Availability
To improve HBase’s availability, Facebook developed HydraBase, which offers a fairly thorough re-architecting of a typical HBase topology. As the Facebook engineering team explains in a recent blog post, HydraBase provides higher availability (from 99.99 percent to 99.999 percent), greater data consistency, and faster failover times than the master-slave replicated setup. The technology is able to do this, without expanding the storage footprint, by effectively “decoupling” the logical and physical replication in HBase, Facebook says. “Instead of having each region being served by a single region server,” the Facebook engineering team writes, “in HydraBase, each region is hosted by a set of region servers.

Ten Technology Opponents You Can Beat
The Wild West is upon us again. We live in a world where new threats pose to cause harm in ways most of us never dreamed possible. Most of us know to look before crossing the street, beware of parking lot sales people, and watch out for bait-and-switch tactics. However, it's time for our society to adopt a new set of street smarts - technology skepticism. Blindly trusting electronic resources, connectivity, or services puts our identities, finances, and privacy at risk. It's time to pay attention and take precautions, and we're going to show you what you're up against and what you can do about it.

Designing Connections
No one disputes that new technologies, including the ubiquitous Internet and World Wide Web along with social media, have changed our lives and how we work and play. Most people who use these technologies can point to many positive things that have resulted. What we tend not to focus on, though, is the primary downside of our digital connectivity. While we’re all busy using our various devices, doing everything from finding a restaurant nearby to sharing an experience we’ve had with acquaintances to working from home and thus avoiding contributing to a clogged highway, we may also be separating ourselves from direct human contact. And that may exact a severe price on society.

Data Analytics: Reaping the Data Dividend
To be sure, realizing the full potential of this data dividend will require that financial institutions no longer settle for status quo. Instead, they can look to cloud-based, big data analytics as a viable solution. Rather than deploying costly, on-premise compute grids that are left unused much of the time, cloud-based computing resources offer flexible, high-performance computing capabilities that give financial institutions the context they need to deal with emerging risks appropriately. These same solutions can be used to harness new streams of data and the capabilities of machine learning and cloud-based analytics tools, ensuring banks that their "single source of truth" is informed by all of the data available within the organization, rather than merely relying on data within a particular line of business.

Are You Measuring Your Security Program’s Effectiveness?
Although measuring different security processes and activities in isolation can be useful, a more important aspect of performance is measuring the relationships between different processes and recognizing how they align with your overall security strategy to form a defense-in-depth. As your security metrics mature, key risk indicators (KRIs) and key performance indicators (KPIs) should be established by leveraging data gathered from various sources and then represented in spreadsheets, dashboards and custom tools built on industry recognized frameworks.

Confronting an Employee Over Email? 5 Tips for Doing it Right
Confrontation (especially work confrontation) is never fun for anyone. But even more uncomfortable than trying to say something unpleasant to someone’s face is trying to express those feelings over email. As the co-founder of a completely virtual organization that has more than 120 contributors all over the world, I’ve had my fair share of awkward confrontation emails. So, what should you do if you find yourself in an emailing predicament? Here are a few tips.

Continuous monitoring key to retail cyber security, says Ponemon
Failure to scan for databases, said Sabo, could also result in failure to identify improper segmentation of networks in contravention of PCI DSS. “Continuous monitoring at the database tier is essential because the perimeter can no longer be trusted and organisations need to know what is going on in their core networks,” he said. Database encryption was recommended by 49% of respondents, while chip and pin technology for payment cards was supported by 45% and data leak prevention technology by 39%, only 18% mentioned IT staff education. Despite these insights and changes in technology and threats, organisations continue to allocate the bulk of their budget (40%) to network security.

Video Lesson Introducing Scrum and Agile
The video lesson Scrum fundamentals by Tommy Norman is a downloadable training which gives an introduction to agile software development using Scrum. In the lesson Tommy explains all the basics from Scrum like the roles, artifacts, and events, and explains how they can be used by teams. He also provides insight into the history of agile and the agile values and principles. InfoQ interviewed Tommy about why he made this introduction training, the roles, artifacts and events of Scrum, User Stories and collaboration in teams, and on-line resources where people can learn more about agile.

Quote for the day:

"Time is the scarcest resource and unless it is managed nothing else can be managed." -- Peter Drucker

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