November 24, 2014

The Salesforce Platform: The Return of the Citizen Programmer
The last time this happened was in the 90’s, when Microsoft created Visual Basic. Legions of citizen programmers created large numbers of custom applications and solutions. Kids used VB, Grandparents used VB. Even managers used VB. Most of the code they wrote was awful, full of global variables, goto statements, and not a hint of object oriented programming, even after it was supported by the language. But it was fast and it was easy, and even the most elitist senior programmers were often forced to use VB because it was so incredibly productive compared to anything else.

The business rationale for cloud workspaces
Desktop virtualization technologies offer enterprise IT a new opportunity to deliver lower-cost, yet more responsive, end-user computing services across a larger range of endpoints. ... This makes them a high-risk investment. Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS) offers a significant opportunity to realize the benefits of desktop virtualization through cloud-hosted desktops consumed as a service without the high upfront capital cost, and at a considerably lower risk, by leveraging a service provider’s domain expertise in creating and managing a high-performance virtual desktop infrastructure.

Open Cloud Alliance Formed to Answer Germany’s Data Privacy Concerns
“The European and US market is different,” said Laguna. “European companies are much more conscious and careful and more wary of big U.S. cloud providers. The big proprietary silos are very anti-competitive, very monolithic, and channel-unfriendly.” One example of how Germany and the U.S. view privacy differently is email. In Germany, it is considered extremely weird for an employer to have access to an employee’s email. In the U.S., sometimes you communicate with superiors by keeping a draft saved in your box. Data privacy concerns are born out of a history that saw the Gestapo, and later the Ministry of State security Stasi, encouraging spying on neighbors when the country was split, explains Laguna.

Android 5.0 Lollipop embraces the enterprise
Google took longer. Prior to the new version 5.0 (Lollipop), Android included precious little specifically to assist enterprises in their needs. Lollipop is a clear change in direction, addressing many of the most important enterprise needs. Finally, Google has included EMM/MDM APIs to allow a standard approach to the management and security of Android mobile devices. No longer will EMM vendors like MobileIron have to make different versions for the devices of different OEMs. Google has also moved to harden the base operating system, strengthen data security by default, improve the security update process and authentication and much more. There are thousands of new APIs, many of which help enterprises.

The five principles every corporate director should embody
NACD and ISA published a report titled the “Cyber-Risk Oversight” where they propose five key principles for boards in approaching cyber-risk ... The IIA and ISACA have built upon these five principles to provide well thought out implementation guidance in a publication titled “Cybersecurity: What the Board of Directors Needs to Ask” Here is how they recommend boards move out in turning the five principles above into action plans ... IIA and ISACA also suggest six questions any board should consider to prepare for discussions with management and audit

Symantec identifies sophisticated, stealthy 'Regin' malware
Regin is a back-door-type Trojan, "customizable with an extensive range of capabilities depending on the target," Symantec said, adding that "it provides its controllers with a powerful framework for mass surveillance." Its development probably took months "if not years" and "its authors have gone to great lengths to cover its tracks." Its first incarnation was used to spy on a number of organizations from 2008 to 2011 when it was "abruptly withdrawn," with a new version showing up last year, Symantec said. Nearly half of the Regin infections that have been identified involve private individuals and small businesses, with attacks on the telecommunication sector apparently aimed at gaining access to calls routed through that infrastructure.

IBM Courts DevOps With Dedicated Bluemix
DevOps has been a favorite mode of operation for startups and web companies that seek to change their production software frequently. Facebook and are noted for their ability to push dozens or hundreds of software updates a day. Robinson said competitive enterprises are beginning to adopt the same process. Among other things, Dedicated Bluemix will make available a Cloudant high-performance database-as-a-service; a data-caching service to make Bluemix applications speedier and more responsive; and the runtime environments in different languages so developers may launch applications in the language of their choice, Robinson said.

Tuning Java Servers
One mistake engineers often make is profiling the CPU without first determining whether it is truly a CPU bound use case. Although CPU utilization shown by top command is low, machine may be busy doing IO (e.g. reading disk, writing to network). Load average is a much better metric for determining whether the machine is loaded. Load average represents the number of processes waiting in the OS scheduler queue. Unlike CPU, load average will increase when any resource is limited (e.g. CPU, network, disk, memory etc.). Please refer to the blog “Understanding Linux Load Average” for more details.

DeitY Releases its Latest Draft IoT Policy
Focus is on developing IoT products precisely to our needs in the sphere of agriculture, health, water quality, transportation, security, automobile, automated metering and monitoring of utilities, waste management and many others. Structure of the IoT Policy has been planned to be implemented through a multi-pillar approach. It will have five vertical pillars (Demonstration Centres, Capacity Building & Incubation, R&D (Research and Development) and Incentives and Engagements, Human Resource Development) and 2 horizontal supports (Standardisation & Organisational structure).

Clearing up muddied waters in the 'Data Lakes'
Several companies have even designed products and services around the concept. Less pleasing is that since 2010 it's been gradually redefined, then subsequently refuted based on these new definitions. But hey, this kind of thing happens in any modern, digital debate and at least it indicates there's a healthy interest in the subject matter. However, as one who spends most waking hours conceiving new information architectures to solve modern data problems, I thought it was time to revive the original Data Lake definition and explain its original role and relevance.

Quote for the day:

"Management is nothing more than motivating other people." -- Lee Iacocca

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