January 05, 2015

Are PC Hard Drives Destined to Die at the Hand of the Cloud? Maybe, Analysts Say
Enterprises don’t like content stored on local devices because of the risk that it could leak outside company walls, and the costs associated with redundant storage placed right next to the worker. Connectivity problems, such as limited Wi-Fi at hotels and other locations, is fading away. And every time a company has bet on local services, such as Apple’s determination to sell MP3s rather than stream music, that company has lost. “The most disruptive technology in the market right now is Chromebooks,” Enderle said. The bottom line? There’s no easy answer to the question of whether local hard drives or SSDs are doomed.

10 things you should do to manage BYOA
BYOD and BYOA are both part of the greater movement of the consumerization of IT. People are used to consumer tools "just working," and that is part of the appeal of the BYOA movement. Many of the apps people bring into the workplace are designed to operate simply, much like their consumer counterparts. This can create problems for IT leaders, especially, as it changes expectations for other corporate software as well. You can manage the expectations by engaging employees and helping them understand the differences in the applications they are bringing in and the software your company relies on to run its core business processes.

D-Link shows off radical 802.11ac routers and Wi-Fi adapters at CES
The flagship DIR-895L/R is based on Broadcom’s BCM47094 chipset and can operate two independent networks on the 5GHz frequency band (with theoretical TCP throughput to 802.11ac clients of 2165Mbps on each), and a third network on the 2.4GHz band with theoretical TCP throughput of 1000Mbps. It will be outfitted with eight high-power antennas, and it supports MU-MIMO (multiple users-multiple input/multiple output) technology so that it can stream high-definition video and audio to multiple clients. The DIR-890L, equipped with six antennas, can also operate two independent 5GHz networks,

Hands-on with Makulu Linux Xfce 7.0: The most beautiful Linux distro I have ever seen
As has been the case in previous Makulu releases, this version includes the WPS Office Suite (aka Kingsoft Office). I don't want to get into a long discussion of the pros and cons of this choice, I will simply say that if you aren't happy with WPS, or you absolutely must have LibreOffice for whatever reason, all you have to do is go to the Software Center (or Synaptic, they are both installed) and install LibreOffice. I just did that, it took less than five minutes to download and install, LibreOffice was automatically added to the Office group in the Whisker menus, and of course is listed in synapse searches.

An example of preparatory refactoring
There are various ways in which refactoring can fit into our programming workflow. One useful notion is that of Preparatory Refactoring. This is where I'm adding a new feature, and I see that the existing code is not structured in such a way that makes adding the feature easy. So first I refactor the code into the structure that makes it easy to add the feature, or as Kent Beck pithily put it "make the change easy, then make the easy change". In a recent Ruby Rogues podcast, Jessica Kerr gave a lovely metaphor for preparatory refactoring.

Held for ransom by the digital ‘mob’
Consumer ransomware is, “a business model that’s going to scale, especially as we get control over more traditional cybercrime business models,” Dai Zovi said. “They’re (cyber criminals) basically entrepreneurs, and they’re going to shift when a new market gives them better returns than an existing market, or their existing market goes away.” Another reason is that, as has been clear for some time, just because a device is “smart,” does not mean it is secure. And embedded devices in the Internet of Things (IoT) are notoriously insecure.

Why doctors are excited about mobile blood pressure monitoring
There are a few reasons. For one, there is quite simply more data being gathered when a cuff worn around one’s arm checks blood pressure at regular intervals throughout a day. But this kind of mobile monitoring also helps catch two types of people who are easily misdiagnosed – those with “white coat” syndrome, who get nervous in doctor’s offices and experience artificially high blood pressure at precisely the time of monitoring (a condition that may affect as many as 30 percent of people thought to be hypertensive), and those who react oppositely, with lower readings either because they take their meds before going to the doctor’s or because they experience more stress in their home environment.

CIOs Need to Snap Out of Complacency
CIOs are spending more time overseeing the nitty-gritty of digital transformation work, such as implementing new systems and re­designing business processes, according to our survey. In some cases, that means a diminished role in big-picture strategic activities such as identifying new commercial opportunities. Specifically, 27 percent of our CIO respondents can be classified as business strategists this year, down from 34 percent last year. And 36 percent of CIOs admit they are fighting turf battles against others in the C-suite--a kind of tumult that can arise in times of big change.

White House plans to leave IT in better shape than it found it
Obama complained about the state of government IT almost as soon as he took office, when he was deprived of the use of his BlackBerry. In 2011, he called government IT operations across all agencies "horrible," and that was two years before the Healthcare.gov debacle. One issue faced by government IT is perception. When compared to the private sector, government IT is seen as a step or two behind in technology adoption. It's a fair assessment, Johnson said, "and I think we should be OK with that." The White House operates in a fishbowl, and any IT issues it faces may have a broader impact. Johnson prefers to have the private sector be the early adopter, with users figuring out new technologies, learning from their mistakes and then partnering with government.

Sony hack could be game changer
Despite passing a flurry of small-bore bills in late 2014, Congress has not moved major cybersecurity legislation in years. And the issues raised by the Sony incident — cyber relations with China, United Nations guidelines for how countries handle cyber issues — are not necessarily areas where Congress wields a heavy hand. “I’m not sure there’s such a direct output for Congress on the international side of things,” said Kristen Eichensehr, an international security professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, School of Law and former State Department attorney.

Quote for the day:

"Character is like a tree and reputation like a shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing." -- Abraham Lincoln

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