October 22, 2014

8 cutting-edge technologies aimed at eliminating passwords
In the beginning was the password, and we lived with it as best we could. Now, the rise of cyber crime and the proliferation of systems and services requiring authentication have us coming up with yet another not-so-easy-to-remember phrase on a near daily basis. Is any of it making those systems and services truly secure? One day, passwords will be a thing of the past, and a slew of technologies are being posited as possibilities for a post-password world. Some are upon us, some are on the threshold of usefulness, and some are likely little more than a wild idea.

The Software-Defined Data Center: Translating Hype into Reality
Software-defined technologies are driven by virtualization, an abstraction layer which uses hypervisors and virtual machines to organize and manage workloads in new ways. Provisioning virtual resources with software makes it easier to scale applications and use hardware efficiently. Software-defined networking holds the promise of reducing costs by shifting network management task to commodity servers rather than expensive switches. It’s a new world, with major implications for infrastructure. Virtual machines make it easier to move workloads from one location to another, a capability that unlocks a world of possibilities.

'Internet of things' data should be 'treated as personal data', say privacy watchdogs
"When purchasing an internet of things device or application, proper, sufficient and understandable information should be provided," the declaration said. "Current privacy policies do not always provide information in a clear, understandable manner. Consent on the basis of such policies can hardly be considered to be informed consent. Companies need a mind shift to ensure privacy policies are no longer primarily about protecting them from litigation." The declaration outlined the DPA's backing for new technology that accounts for privacy by the way it has been designed. The concepts of 'privacy by design' and 'privacy by default' "should become a key selling point of innovative technologies", it said.

Why You Should Kill Your Employee of the Month Program
While rewards and recognition programs are designed with the good of employees, teams, and the company in mind, they tend to backfire for a simple reason. When you raise one person up on a pedestal, it leaves others below on the ground. And some of those left behind may feel resentful. Perhaps they contributed to the effort that's being recognized, or even came up with the original idea. Maybe they were part of a team that facilitated a key component to the successful outcome, but it happened behind the scenes where you couldn't see it. The point is, when you single someone out as the hero, it can make others who are just as worthy feel like goats.

Addressing 5 Objections to Big Data
Big data is all the rage these days. It has transitioned from just a hype word that people liked to throw around to sound smart to a technology that’s completely changing the world. Still, people try to minimize the importance of big data. Whenever something good comes around, there are people that will try and fight it. That can surely be said about big data. There are numerous objections to big data and what it can do, but most of these objections are unfounded and can easily be refuted by those who understand the big data industry. Let’s take a look at five common objections to big data and the responses for each one.

Back to the Future was right: a working hoverboard will be available in 2015
The big catch is that the Hendo can only hover over some types of metal. At the Arx Pax office, we hovered over a floor and half pipe covered in copper. That’s because the board generates a magnetic field. When there is a sheet of metal underneath, it is powerful enough to push the board upward (it’s the same technology as a Maglev train). The developer kit can support up to 40 pounds. The Hendo board can support up to 300 pounds, with support for 500 pounds planned for the future. It only dipped for a fraction of a second when I hopped on.

Keep calm and plug the holes
With network monitoring and analysis in place, you need to think about how best to make use of the data. Don’t be too quick to throw it out. Network analysis tools have gotten a lot better than what was out there in the ’90s and early 2000s. It’s easier now to sift through huge amounts of data in a relatively short amount of time. When a zero day is published, that data can be useful for taking a look back at what had been happening prior to the zero day being published. You also need to have workarounds in place so that you’re not entirely dependent on outright fixes when zero days pop up.

The Untapped Potential Inside Social Media, Analytics (Part 2 of 2)
Grady, the social media analytics and enterprise search sales manager at Information Builders, has worked on social media analytics, search-based business intelligence, mobile applications, predictive analytics, and dashboard design in his 15 years at the company. He blogs about social media, business intelligence and more. Grady recently spoke, along with Fern Halper, TDWI's research director of advanced analytics, at a TDWI Webinar on "Social Media Analytics – Getting Beyond Tracking the Buzz."

Will Your Next Best Friend Be A Robot?
The glum robot is named Takeo, and by the end of the play, it’s clear he is not the only one with problems. The man of the house is unemployed and pads around barefoot, a portrait of lethargy. At one point, his wife, Ikue, begins to weep. Takeo communicates this development to his fellow robot Momoko, and the two discuss what to do about it. “You should never tell a human to buck up when they are depressed,” says Takeo, who himself failed to buck up when the man attempted to cheer him with the RoboCop theme song earlier. Momoko agrees: “Humans are difficult.”

Java Sleight of Hand
Every now and then we all come across some code whose behaviour is unexpected. The Java language contains plenty of peculiarities, and even experienced developers can be caught by surprise. Let’s be honest, we’ve all had a junior colleague come to us and ask “what is the result of executing this code?”, catching us unprepared. Now, instead of using the usual “I could tell you but I think it will be far more educational if you find it by yourself”, we can distract his attention for a moment (hmmm.... I think I just saw Angelina Jolie hiding behind our build server. Can you quickly go and check?) while we rapidly browse through this article.

Quote for the day:

"In a number of ways Open Data improves society - for one it can grow GDP" Chris Harding, The Open Group

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