December 09, 2014

Top 5 Tips for This Year's Tech Santa
Perhaps, between this month’s tinselly advertisements, you’ve heard that this is the Season of Giving. While many people consider the name nothing more than an invitation to pass poinsettia’s between friends, some understand that it also means giving of your time and talents. For example, as a Macworldreader there’s every chance that you have technical knowledge to spare—some of which would be deeply appreciated by those family and friends you visit over the holidays. Might I suggest, in the spirit of sharing, that you lend a hand in the following five ways?

HP Will Release a “Revolutionary” New Operating System in 2015
A working prototype of The Machine should be ready by 2016, says Bresniker. However, he wants researchers and programmers to get familiar with how it will work well before then. His team aims to complete an operating system designed for The Machine, called Linux++, in June 2015. Software that emulates the hardware design of The Machine and other tools will be released so that programmers can test their code against the new operating system. Linux++ is intended to ultimately be replaced by an operating system designed from scratch for The Machine, which HP calls Carbon. Programmers’ experiments with Linux++ will help people understand the project and aid HP’s progress, says Bresniker.

Knicker elastic and hybrid cloud, do we need to talk about it?
On a roundtable for MeetTheBoss TV this month, several of the attendees suggested the term hybrid cloud was practically obsolete. They told us that the only cloud technology they consider effective for their organisations is hybrid and there’s no point talking about three separate clouds. Alan Nance VP Technology Transformation Phillips IT said: “I think the whole conversation about hybrid and non-hybrid is not very useful because the things that you are building are always going to be combinations. I think the word hybrid is sort of made up almost by people who were not born in the cloud. For me hybrid is almost not a discussion point … it’s like oxygen, I don’t need to debate it, I know I need it.”

New data center OS allows single-source command for Linux servers
Mesosphere DCOS's core innovation is the ability to deploy and manage application workloads across multiple machines without requiring more than a few terse command-line statements. Hadoop or a Ruby on Rails app can be deployed automatically across nodes and scaled up or down to meet demand and ensure that nodes don't go underutilized. Unlike the CoreOS model, DCOS doesn't consist of a Linux distribution built along custom lines to run containers. Rather, DCOS manages existing Linux installations, which might be more immediately appealing to architects of existing data centers.

Cyberattacks Are Just Going To Get Worse From Here
"Long-term players will become stealthier information gatherers, while newcomers will look for ways to steal money and disrupt their adversaries." McAfee said small nations and terror groups will become even more active and will "attack by launching crippling distributed denial of service attacks or using malware that wipes the master boot record to destroy their enemies' networks." At the same time, cybercriminals will use better methods to remain hidden on a victim's network, to carry out long-term theft of data without being detected, the researchers said. "In this way, criminals are beginning to look and act more like sophisticated nation-state cyberespionage actors, who watch and wait to gather intelligence," the report said.

NSA spy program targets mobile networks
The operations closely monitored the GSM Association, maintained a list of 1,201 email targets, or "selectors" used to intercept internal company communications, and gathered information about network security flaws. The NSA documents show that as of May 2012 the agency had collected technical information on about 70 percent of the estimated 985 mobile phone networks worldwide. Other than mentions of operators in Libya, China, and Iran, names of the targeted companies are not disclosed in the documents supplied by Snowden, an ex-NSA contractor now living in Russia.

Continuous Delivery for Databases: Microservices, Team Structures, and Conway's Law
In some respects, the microservices style looks somewhat like SOA and there is arguably an amount of 'Emperor's New Clothes' about the term 'microservices'. However, where microservices departs radically from SOA is in theownership model for the services: with microservices, only a single team (or perhaps even a single developer) will develop and change the code for a given service. The team is encouraged to take a deep ownership of the services they develop, with this ownership extending to deployment and operation of the services. The choice of technologies to use for building and operating the services is often left up to the team (within certain agreed common cross-team parameters, such as log aggregation, monitoring, and error diagnosis).

Flexible working could save the UK economy billions
A huge chunk of those savings, £7.1bn, would come as a result of reduced commuting costs and the half a billion hours that would be regained, instead of being spent travelling. The research also found that there was a strong appetite for flexible working with 96% of those that have the option to so so taking it up and 83% reporting that they would take advantage of their allowances if they were made available. "Over recent years many organisations have become firm advocates of the benefits of flexible working and this study verifies the impact such a culture can bring to the wider UK economy," said Jacqueline de Rojas, area vice president, Northern Europe at Citrix.

Addressing the most critical cloud security threats
Most enterprises are already using some kind of cloud-based service, so it's important to understand that despite the advantages, there are also cloud security threats that need to be addressed when moving there. The basic principle an enterprise needs to remember is that it cannot rely on the cloud service provider (CSP) to take care of every problem. Instead, companies have to communicate with the CSP and solve the issues together. ... When moving to the cloud, enterprises need to address the threats of cloud computing to enhance the security of the entire environment.

Banks are opening up IT to third parties, as hackathon demonstrates
Banks are so hamstrung by the need to maintain legacy systems that the time and money required to create innovative IT products and services to meet customer demand is limited. NAB ran the event on 6-7 December 2014 in partnership with Amazon and Intel. Known as NAB iDAY, the event brought together team members, contractors and partners to compete to build products that benefit customers by using the bank's application programming interface (API).

Quote for the day:

"Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect." -- Mark Twain

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