June 26, 2014

Big IT vs SME IT in government - it's really about changing IT suppliers' behaviour
Of course, government takes its share of the blame for that - the Civil Service outsourced its IT expertise and left itself vulnerable to suppliers who will, inevitably, look to make as much money as they reasonably (and sometimes unreasonably) can. The best change that GDS has introduced is to re-skill government IT and to place the emphasis back onto bringing in the best digital and IT management staff that it can. Forget Labour's attitude to suppliers - the real scandal would be if they reversed that recruitment policy. I've seen no suggestions that they will.

Antifragility – the goal for high-performance IT organizations
Antifragile is the term meant to describe the exact opposite of fragile. It’s not the same as robust or resilient, two terms often conflated with the notion of antifragility, and two terms I’ve used to describe desirable attributes often associated with well-designed and well-managed online services. When customers say the cloud service they’re reliant upon is “robust” or “resilient”, we, as the IT professionals responsible for that service, can be justifiably proud of our efforts. The term antifragile is meant to describe objects that actually benefit from experiencing some form of failure or stress. In the context of IT, we’d probably say systems or services.

A Security Awareness Success Story
More important, when there are acknowledged Security Awareness success stories, it is rare for organizations to share those stories, even internally. As principles in a company devoted to the human aspects of security and Security Awareness, we see Security Awareness success stories on a daily basis, however we cannot disclose those stories without permission. So it was a pleasant surprise when we saw the CSO Salted Hash column, Inside an Attack by the Syrian Electronic Army, which highlights a major Security Awareness success story.

Cloud adoption: Why some IT chiefs think it's still too complex
"The complexities we get into on licensing models make me want to weep sometimes," Essex County Council CIO David Wilde told the recent Cloud World Forum in London. "The market has still got a long, long way to go to commoditise its own products sets, make more sense of its licensing, get over the fact that actually in future — and cloud is driving this — it will no longer be about a corporate-based licensing," he said. His organisation delivers services for at least half a dozen other public agencies but cloud licences currently make it difficult to set up such arrangements.

How Vulnerabilities are Exploited: the Root Causes of Exploited Remote Code Execution CVEs
As long as human beings write software code, mistakes that lead to imperfections in software will be made – no software is perfect. Some imperfections simply prevent the software from functioning exactly as intended, but other bugs may present vulnerabilities. Manual code reviews performed by developers and testers, in concert with automated tools such as fuzzers and static analysis tools, are very helpful techniques for identifying vulnerabilities in code. But these techniques cannot find every vulnerability in large scale software projects. As developers build more functionality into their software, their code becomes more and more complex.

The Five Year Plan Your Network Needs
Keeping up with the growing demands in today’s world of overloaded data centers requires tough conditioning so your network is in its best shape. Cisco’s 2013 Global Cloud Index report suggests that data center traffic will triple by 2017; 76 percent of that traffic is server to server traffic within the data center. With this in mind, many networks are already behind. Revamping a data center network requires IT decision makers to step back and see the long-term potential by preparing for the growth and obstacles along the way. With one, three, and five year mile markers, consider this five year plan that every network team should apply to make sure their network can grow with demand in a linear fashion.

10 Bad Coding Practices That Wreck Software Development Projects
The Pareto principle states that 80 percent of outcomes can be attributed to 20 percent of the possible causes of a given event. Also known as the 80-20 rule, it's relevant to almost every field of human endeavor. In the field of software development, the principle can be summarized by saying that most problems are caused by a small number of bad coding practices. Eliminate them and your work will be very much easier and more productive. These 10 coding practices are the worst culprits.

Intel's mood-capturing 3D camera will be in tablets early next year
The mobile camera technology is derived from similar 3D cameras that will be in PCs starting late this year. Such cameras, combined with touch and voice recognition, will improve human interaction with tablets, Bhowmik said. A handful of tablets already have 3D cameras, but Intel wants its camera to do more than capture images. Intel's RealSense 3D tablet cameras will determine whether a person is happy or sad based on its analysis of a face. The RealSense camera chip has technology to recognize a face, analyze the shape of lips, eyes and cheeks, and then draw conclusions about facial expression.

The Disruption FAQ
When a competitor misdirects attention by selling a product that draws usage from existing customers and adds non-consuming new customers because it enables new uses, then the incumbent feels no pain from the entry because they don’t sense a reduction in customers. We call this a “new market disruption“. The challenger gains a foothold and grows/evolves, eventually capturing customers exclusively. ... The new product does not actually do the same thing as the incumbent product or does a subset of valuable tasks poorly while excelling at menial tasks. The entrant may be highly profitable but they are not taking profits away from incumbents because they “grow the pie”, capturing value by fulfilling unmet needs.

Will a VMware hyper-converged product arise from the rumor mill?
While speculation was rampant, there was little evidence to confirm the existence of this construct. Then Fletcher Cocquyt , a technical architect from Stanford University, reignited the chatter after he tweeted a picture on June 6 purportedly showing a poster on the VMware campus with the text, "Introducing the world's first 100% VMware powered hyper-converged infrastructure appliance." The poster also featured the name "MARVIN" and declared, "Arriving summer 2014." Some sleuthing uncovered VMware had filed for the MARVIN trademark on Jan. 8, 2014. In documents, the company described that the trademark was for, "Computer hardware for virtualization; computer hardware enabling users to manage virtual computing resources that include networking and data storage."

Quote for the day:

"If a man does not know to what port he is steering, no wind is favorable to him." -- Seneca

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