April 30, 2015

Hadoop’s Next Big Battle: Apache Versus ODP
Schroeder went on to list several concerns about the ODP. Chief among those are that the ODP “is redundant” with the ASF and that it “solves problems that don’t need solving.” “Companies implementing Hadoop applications do not need to be concerned about vendor lock-in or interoperability issues,” Schroeder says, citing a Gartner survey that found fewer than 1 percent of companies were concerned about lock-in or interoperability. “Project and sub-project interoperability are very good and guaranteed by both free and paid-for distributions,” Schroeder writes. “Applications built on one distribution can be migrated with virtually zero switching costs to the other distributions.” The cost of joining the ODP is a sticking point for Schroeder, who raised the question of whether it’s “pay to play.”

5 Factors to Retrospect after Every Sprint while Developing a Product
The essence of agile is to thrive for continuous improvement through empirical process control. True agile teams find ways to improve through experimentation, finding sustainability, and delivering business value earlier. It is a never-ending journey, and a sprint retrospective emerges as an opportunity to further accelerate this improvement process. It is a great time to allocate and analyse extraneous factors in detail, which otherwise may distract the team’s focus. In this post, we highlight 5 factors which every agile team should retrospect after each sprint. Let’s have a look.

IT execs on Facebook at Work strengths and weaknesses
Yochem also says that every company and organization is on the hunt for tools, ideas and methods to accelerate their business and increase collaboration. "Bringing the Facebook construct to the enterprise would conceivably allow for unprecedented collaborative capability across multiple entity types, allowing business and society to evolve rapidly in response to changing customer expectations and business needs." Facebook is initially focusing on large, multinational businesses in an attempt to build momentum and interest around its enterprise product, but Lindenmuth says it would see more success by targeting small- to medium-size businesses with fewer than 5,000 employees.

Your startup isn't disruptive, and here's why
"If you're really disruptive, you're usually making another company's life more difficult," said Christian Jensen of Accel. Existing companies should see you as a threat. They should view you as an enemy. You are fighting for the same space and, as a disruptor, you're breaking the rules in the process. "Everything that's been truly a disruptive technology -- it kind of irks somebody," Herrod said. If your startup makes perfect sense to everyone in existing roles at first glance, it's probably not disruptive, Herrod added. Being able to do something faster and cheaper mean that you'll be able to scale faster. The lower price contributes to price elasticity, meaning the growth in demand that comes with the lowering of price. Ben Brooks of Southern Capitol said this is especially important in that price elasticity is an indicator of potential scalability.

3 ways to reduce turnover for relocated employees
A corporate relocation is a major life event. Whether the employee is a new hire or a proven team member, a job-based relocation involves a variety of challenges—all of which can impact the employee’s long-term relationship with your company. ... Negative experiences or dissatisfaction in any one of these areas increases your risk of losing a talented employee. As a result, it’s in your company’s best interest to manage the relocation process in a way that helps employees and their families quickly adapt to their new location. ... Many employers are using automated communications to stay in touch with employees during the transition period. The distribution of strategic emails or other forms of communication on a set schedule reduces the burden on HR staff. But more importantly, it reduces turnover by making the move less intimidating to employees.

SaaS Customers Beware: Data Issues are Cloudy
The fact is that choosing a cloud-based option presents a different set of legal issues that purchasers do not face with on-premises software, so it’s important that they consider the terms and conditions of the contract. Some of these issues aren’t completely new – they go back to the days before perpetual contracts and “open systems” were the norm. In that era, a company could find itself hostage to a vendor that shut down the company’s system remotely and prevented it from using the technology to run its business and retrieving its data from the system. Before entering into any SaaS contract or renewal, it’s important to review the details of the contract and its terms and conditions. The company should insist on modifying the wording of the contract if necessary to the satisfaction of both parties.

Hadoop and beyond: A primer on Big Data for the little guy
After a decade of growth, however, the Hadoop market is consolidating around a new “Hadoop kernel,” similar to the Linux kernel, and the industry standard Open Data Platform announced in February is designed to reduce fragmentation and rapidly accelerate Apache Hadoop’s maturation. Similarly, the Algorithms, Machines and People Laboratory (AMPLab) at the University of California, Berkeley is now halfway through its six-year DARPA-funded Big Data research initiative, and it’s beginning to move up the stack and focus on a “unification philosophy” around more sophisticated machine learning, according to Michael Franklin, director of AMPLab and associate chair of computer science at UC Berkeley.

FIXing Post-Trade
“Today we are talking about trading in milliseconds, microseconds, even nanoseconds, but if you look at post-trade, nothing has changed for 20 years,” Ignatius John, president of post-trade technology provider Alpha Omega Financial Systems, told Markets Media. “We are still running the same old, archaic architecture in the systems. That is where I believe the change is going to come next.” ... “For the last two decades much of the industry’s investment has been directed towards front-office solutions,” John said. “We believe that the middle- and back-office are essential functions that can contribute to lowering costs, reducing errors and ultimately improving portfolio performance.” A number of large global asset managers have identified post-trade as an area where they are looking to improve efficiencies, reduce costs and capture more alpha.

RSA president questions government role in cybersecurity
"The government is not the answer here," he said, when asked about White House proposals for sharing of cybersecurity information. Despite the growing severity of attacks and a feeling that the government should "do something," the issue is best left to private companies, because they are the ones developing networks and the technology that defends them, he said. "Nobody is going to say information sharing is bad, but I've yet to see what is being asked to share by whom, for what purpose, to which parties, how will it be protected, how will it be used and then what is the value proposition back for sharing information," Yoran said.

Technology driving pick-and-mix banking
US consumers trust traditional financial services firms more than other organisations to secure their data, but banks are still having their businesses picked away by competitors as customers go elsewhere for many products. This is according to research by Accenture of 4,000 retail bank customers in the US and Canada, and provides a stark warning to UK banks which are facing competition from challenger banks as well as IT companies offering financial services. ... The arrival of new banks, some of which are digital only, looks set to bring real competition to the retail banking sector in the UK.  In 2013 the Payments Council introduced a system that enables consumers to change current account providers in seven days, rather than the 30 it took previously.

Quote for the day:

"A quarrel between friends, when made up, adds a new tie to friendship." -- Francis de Sales

April 29, 2015

Self-learning systems to replace humans in manufacturing
The potential for fully automated, self-learning, and self-aware manufacturing systems led a consortium of businesses and institutions led by the University of Nottingham to undertake the Fast Ramp-Up and Adaptive Manufacturing Environment (FRAME) project a few years back. "The aim of the FRAME project is a paradigm shift from the conventional human-­driven ramp-­up and system integration process to fully automated, self-­learning and self­aware production systems," according to a report issued at the conclusion of the investigation. Ramp-up is necessary anytime a manufacturing device is moved, deployed, or constructed, and it typically entails an intensive and person-centered process of fine-tuning and optimization.

The Evolving State of Cyber-Threats
A new survey from QuinStreet Enterprise, “2015 Security Outlook: Meeting Today's Evolving Cyber Threats,” examines the challenges. The survey of 387 business and IT executives found, among other things, that cyber-attacks are becoming more targeted and increasingly sophisticated, most companies have experienced a damaging breach in the past year, and the majority of organizations have increased their security budget and adopted a more aggressive approach to thwart new risks. Since cyber-attacks are increasingly multi-pronged and use more sophisticated methods to create a breach–including social engineering–there's also a growing focus on using the right combination of tools, technologies and methods–and integrating them more effectively. Here are some of the highlights from the research.

Design Is The New Differentiator In Mobile Banking
Mobile users have eagerly adopted their banks’ mobile products, and they’ve proven to be quick learners of new features. This means that there is a huge opportunity for banks as they enter and expand their presence in the mobile space. However, it’s an opportunity that comes with a certain degree of peril. Financial institutions need to make sure their mobile offerings are keeping up with the cutting edge of design and functionality. They also have to make sure that applications are easy enough to navigate and use so there’s no barrier to entry for novice users, because the truth is, there are still many customers waiting at the gates.

3 Keys to Effective Technology Scouting
At its core, business development is a means of creating long-term value and opening doors to new opportunities through partnerships. My previous experience running business development for a technology firm required me to find, evaluate, and act on new deals. Today this role would likely be called technology scouting. Regardless of what its called, technology scouting is analogous with farming in that it relies on nurturing diverse opportunities, weeding out bad opportunities, and acquiring new technology only when it is ready. Moreover, professional scouting is a highly collaborative, and sophisticated operation that requires a lot of communication. Facilitating the scouting process can quickly become a time drain.

Full-stack JavaScript developers: Study these cloud age wonders in the wild
The full-stack developer is an expert JavaScript programmer, is able to handle these full-stack tools, understands other languages such as HTML5 and CSS (yes, they are languages), and has wrapped his head round concepts like AJAX, Single Page Applications, and RESTful web services. Like all IT nerds, the full-stack JavaScript developer is attracted to shiny new technology. If a business investor is a fat cat moneyman and the system administrator is a UNIX neck-beard, then the full-stack JavaScript developer is a fashion-following hipster. You won't find one anywhere near a LAMP stack or PHP-driven CMS. And that full-stack phrase sets this new breed of JavaScript developer apart from the puny JavaScript front-end developer of the past.

Orlando Int'l Airport hops on beacons bandwagon with new app
Airports are ideal facilities to implement mobile engagement solutions into, as they are packed with domestic and foreign travelers seeking directions to their departure gates, baggage claims, help desks and more. By offering a singular mobile app, visitors can access all of their pertinent information in one spot, which lessens the burden for airport and airline employees. The “blue dot” GPS function can also indicate a user’s position and offer them a path to get to their desired location, a feature that may resonate well with international guests. While Orlando International Airport is currently not providing commerce options within the app, such as beacon-enabled push notifications with deals for in-terminal shops or restaurants, it may do so in the near future.

2014 saw step change in anti cyber attack collaboration, says UK official
“This is about collaboration between the public and private sectors, so there's a lot of figuring out how to do that in this world of cyber space. “It is going to take time and a lot of effort on both sides because none of us can tackle this problem by ourselves,” he said. In doing so there is recognition of the fact that many companies are multinational and, given the global nature of cyber space and the ability to sell products globally, this work has to be done in collaboration with industry. “In many ways the discussions that we have are about how we can harmonise and synchronise the efforts of the US and UK governments to make sure we are working together and not at crossed purposes,” he said.

Digitizing integrated patient care
The digitization of health care services is having an explosive impact on telecommunications infrastructure for hospitals and health systems. From high-resolution medical imagery to electronic health records (EHRs), telemedicine and more, the amount of data traversing health care networks has grown exponentially, and it's putting a strain on many health care information technology (IT) departments. In addition, a number of health care institutions are sending medical data to and from more locations as physician and partner networks expand. Health care employees are demanding the ability to transfer files faster and farther than ever before to improve integrated care methods. Fortunately, new network technologies are replacing the outdated T1 and digital subscriber lines that have fed health care systems for years.

Zombie apps haunt BYOD workplaces
The problem is exacerbated by the fact that the app stores don't release information about why the apps were removed, he said. "We'd like to see more transparency from the app stores, similar to what we see in other product recalls," Guerra said. "As consumers, if an app is recalled, we want to be notified." And the app stores don't automatically pull the zombie apps from user devices, he added. "Google has announced the capability of removing malware apps from the devices -- but only if the users have set it up as acceptable on their device," he said. Other than that, according to Appthority, neither Google nor Apple are offering any solutions to help protect enterprises from this risk. In addition to the zombie apps, many employees also have outdated apps on their smarphones and tablets.

The best approach might be counterintuitive
If a team member isn’t doing what you want them to do, you might be tempted to tell them, in great detail, what you want them to do and why. If the team member has not done the task before, that might be helpful to them. If the team member is talented and engaged at work, there may be something else getting in the way. Before telling them (again and again), try a counterintuitive approach. Ask them how they are doing with that goal or project — and listen. A team member new to the task might explain that he or she tried your approach but got off track and didn’t know how to fix it. He or she will ask again for your guidance and instruction.

Quote for the day:

“The growth and development of people is the highest calling of  leadership.” -- Harvey S. Firestone

April 28, 2015

How Data Center Virtualization Shrinks Physical Distance
There’s no doubt that optimization technologies are going to continue to evolve. One of the key technologies making the data center virtualization push is of course software-defined networking. We can do so much more with a physical switch now than we ever could before. We even have network virtualization and the ability to quickly create thousands of vNICs from physical devices. The ability to dynamically create LANs, vLANs, and other types of connectivity points has become easier with more advanced networking appliances. This goes far beyond just optimizing the links between data center environments.

Applying COBIT in a Government Organization
The comprehensive nature of COBIT 5, which combines several areas, including IT risk, information security and governance, is one of its major benefits. In addition, the enablers concept presents a unique view of how and where to pose some questions when adopting and enhancing the framework. To facilitate the transition, the audit function presented to the management staff a simplified model, listing the COBIT 5 processes and asking for the perceived degree of relevance and corporate knowledge of each process. These answers were compared with the maturity observed through audit and internal control actions, making it possible to devise a matrix of priorities for the processes to be analyzed in subsequent audits, which strengthened the support for management decisions through the adoption of the framework

Smartphone Secrets May Be Better Than a Password
The team used an algorithm to find suitably infrequent events to use as the basis for questions. On average, users succeeded in answering three questions about themselves correctly 95 percent of the time, and they were able to answer questions about other people less than 6 percent of the time. Now, Roy Choudhury says, the researchers are speaking with companies like Yahoo and Intel to figure out if what they’re doing could be useful for enterprise users and, if so, what needs to be done to make the system work well. One issue would be figuring out what kinds of activity data users would be comfortable sharing. Another is how such a system would work if you haven’t used your phone recently or can’t remember who texted you last night at 8:05.

IoT And The Looming Mobile Tidal Wave
"In fact, I consider terming it an 'Internet' as a bit of misnomer, because it largely consists of wireless-connected, non-phone mobile devices interacting in a client-server, or hub-and-spoke model. The Internet analogy does not, and should not, apply for most real-world applications coming online today." According to Brisbourne, "The level of interconnectivity among devices that's needed for these applications is actually pretty low, as they tend to use dedicated point-to-point communication, and point-to-point service delivery. For example, an irrigation system that responds to physical weather conditions and decides, singularly, when to switch on a sprinkler system. The IoT requires a much simpler mobile architecture as the environment is quite closed, generally capable of flowing a particular type of data in one direction. It is not an extension of the Web into the life of devices."

Clorox CIO discusses the real challenge of big data
When you start from the business use case, Singh adds, infrastructure questions become much easier to answer. "One of the best examples is looking at your volume shipment data and connecting it to certain initiatives you have in the business, like sales," he says. For instance, you may want to measure the effect of a promotion effort. But maybe there was a snowstorm in the region during the period you're evaluating. If the promotion didn't meet expectations, was that due to some quality of the promotion, or was the weather to blame? You need to bring in weather data for that, but you don't need to know what the global weather was in that period, even if you have access to the data.

CIA CIO Doug Wolfe on Commercial Cloud Services (C2S) Lessons Learned and Road Ahead
C2S enables more reliable and functional delivery of services to end-users. One of the biggest benefits to date has been in delivering reliable and functional services to end users and doing it faster because developers have common and known and easy to work with environments. In most cases end users will not know C2S is delivering this capability. They just see more and better functionality. One category of functionality, for example, is in geospatial applications. Working with both our own and NGA’s technical teams we are leveraging C2S to deliver enhanced geospatial analysis tools and end users do not need to be troubled to know where the compute power for those come from.

EU data protection regulation will drive privacy by design, says KuppingerCole
Kinast believes that privacy by design will have a positive impact on business continuity. Although the regulation tends to be seen in a negative light because businesses foresee they will have to put more effort into designing their software and services, he said that after a while, companies will realise that this approach will lead to better business continuity. “Privacy by design will help companies realise that they need more identity and access management as well as an appropriate security strategy,” said Kinast. Many organisations do not have proper access controls, he said, to ensure that employees can access only the software, systems and data that they need to do their jobs.

Report: Internet of Things to Spur Data Center Demand Explosion
“Equal, or even greater, investments in the IoT platform services residing in the data center will be instrumental in delivering the IoT promise of anytime, anywhere, anyhow connectivity and context,” Rick Villars, vice president of data center and cloud divisions at IDC, said in a statement. “Given the number of devices connected and the amount of data generated, businesses must focus on their IoT service platform requirements at the level of the data center itself, not just the individual servers or storage devices.” The analysts believe IoT will be the single largest driver of IT expansion in larger data centers. Because agility and scale are crucial to IoT applications, that expansion will take place primarily in service-provider data centers rather than on-premise corporate IT facilities.

Captive IT centre boosts competitiveness at Danske Bank in Denmark
“Many companies have started to favour captive centres again because they were cutting too deep into their own knowledge base. They actually outsourced too much of their business knowledge and core knowledge. Now they like to have the essential understanding and competencies internally,” said Henrik Ringgaard, managing consultant at PA Consulting. “They want to make sure they have the right knowledge base and that all business units really have the needed business understanding of their company.” While Ringgaard agreed that captive centres are gaining popularity among very large companies, he said offshoring in the whole is a growing trend and is maturing particularly in the Nordics.

Kong goes open source: Mashape dubs it the first microservices management layer
"What we're open-sourcing is the back end and the core technology of Mashape. It's a management layer, a centralised dispatcher for microservices and APIs - and it's built on top of nginx, so we're using nginx internally to proxy HTTP APIs," Mashape CEO and co-founder Augusto Marietti said. "On top of that we've built other layers - the infrastructure to manage, monitor, log, secure, authenticate, do transformations - on top of all the APIs." In microservices architectures, applications are built as a suite of small, semi-autonomous processes that communicate with each other through APIs and perform specific tasks. Designed to be easy to use and scalable, microservices are increasingly figuring in web, mobile and internet-of-things apps.

Quote for the day:

“Those who dare to fail miserably can achieve greatly.” -- Robert F. Kennedy

April 27, 2015

Government scientist warns of rail signal hacking danger
Prof. David Stupples of City University London specialises in research and development of networked electronic and radio systems, and advises the government on cyber terrorism and organised crime. He told the BBC that the new European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS) – a computer-controlled signalling system that will supersede the British rail network’s ageing signal lights – could be exposed to cyber attacks. The professor explained that malware introduced by insiders could affect trains’ responses to electronic signals, and said he was speaking now to raise awareness of the threat. “The weakness is getting malware into the system by employees. Either because they are dissatisfied or being bribed or coerced,” he explained.

The 4-stage evolution of cloud computing
We’re still early in the process, but ultimately, it will bring organizations to the point in which decision-making is pushed down through the ranks, and traditional business models are cast aside in favor of more entrepreneurial ventures — even within large corporations. That’s the word from Don Rippert, IBM general manager of cloud strategy, who discussed where the world is at in the progression in a recently released video. Speaking at the company’s InterConnect event, Rippert started off by reminding attendees that the purpose of cloud wasn’t to make things simpler, but rather, “magnify and amplify” the talents of employees. “Clouds are not designed to make things so simple that a trained dog could do it,” he pointed out. “They’re designed to make things so good that you can build the best possible apps in the shortest time.”

Five Forces of Complexity and Change
In digital markets there is often little to zero market share left for laggards, and so these markets are more and more coming to be understood as “winner take all” markets, where there is only first place and there is no second. This dynamic is becoming more prevalent, and thus the number of winner-takes-all markets is increasing, because technology advantages often create massive barriers to competition. Whereas in the past, for example, a wide variety of local stores usually competed within a given geographic region, today due to better transportation, logistics, telecommunications and information technology systems the leading firms are extending their lead and effectively locking out the local players.

Boards are on high alert over security threats
Cybersecurity oversight is the second most important topic for boards in 2015--just behind strategic planning--according to law firm Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld. "It's not just financial services firms or regulated companies--everyone is interested now," says Kimberly Peretti, partner and co-chair of the security incident management and response team at law firm Alston & Bird. ... Yet board members complain that they're not getting the right information. More than one-third of them are dissatisfied with the quality of information they get regarding cybersecurity risk, and more than half are unhappy with the quantity of information provided, according to a NACD survey of 1,013 public companies.

State of Cybersecurity: Implications for 2015 An ISACA and RSA Conference Survey
While attacks are becoming more sophisticated and the motivations behind them seem to evolve on a daily basis, the perpetrators can be fairly clearly categorized. The data demonstrate that the threat actors that are most frequently penetrating enterprise security include cybercriminals, hackers and nonmalicious insiders ... The data support the horror stories that haunt organizations relative to cybersecurity. Enterprises continue to struggle with traditional security threats such as lost devices, insider threats, malware, hacks and social engineering, while simultaneously trying to keep sophisticated attacks by nontraditional threat actors at bay. In such an environment, it is important to understand how enterprises are staffing and managing security.

They monitor hearts, count calories … but are health apps any good for you?
The British Medical Journal questioned whether the apps now on the market do anything other than cause anxiety.In the article, Dr Iltifat Husain, editor in chief of iMedicalApps.com, a review site for medical professionals, argued that some apps “help people to correlate personal decisions with health outcomes” and “can help doctors to hold patients accountable for their behaviour”. Dr Des Spence, a GP in Glasgow, argued that the apps were “untested and unscientific” and opened the door of uncertainty. “Make no mistake: Diagnostic uncertainty ignites extreme anxiety in people,” he wrote. Health apps are in their infancy and at the moment are fairly blunt instruments.

Total Talent Management: A Systems Approach to Agility
A company, like a system, has an established way of working (often referred to as culture) that it must consider in selecting independent contractors and even outsourced partners. In the example above, agile should have been a key consideration in selecting external IT contractors or outsourcers because that’s what the IT department had become familiar with. Personnel selected for the finance department and project-management office should also have been working in an agile manner. An external injection into the existing system of a completely different way of working and functioning creates misunderstandings and slows work. People will expend effort to correct missteps that could instead have gone toward progress.

With ransomware on the rise, cryptographers take it personally
Shamir believes that ransomware is an area where the security community failed "in a miserable way," because there are no good products to protect against it. And this is just the beginning, he thinks. Today ransomware can affect your PC or your mobile phone, but it's only a matter of time until your smart TV and other Internet of Things devices will also be held to ransom, he said. That time is probably not too far in the future. F-Secure noted in its report the emergence last year of a ransomware program called SynoLocker that infected network-attached storage (NAS) devices made by a company called Synology.

Dell takes on Cisco and Juniper with 100G data center switch
All of these switches support the Open Network Install Environment (ONIE) to allow for install of pre-qualified third party operating systems. With ONIE loading, these networking switches can be booted without using proprietary means, Dell says. The switches are tested and validated with third party operating systems and network virtualization software from Dell partners Cumulus Networks, Big Switch Networks, VMware and Midokura. Dell also added to that partner roster this week with the inclusion of IP Infusion, a developer of network operating system software for enterprises and service providers. IP Infusion’s OcNOS includes support for MPLS and VPLS for WAN, VPN and data center interconnect applications.

Are wearable tech startups just looking for problems?
Nick Hunn, founder and CEO of Wifore and one of the competition judges for the event, agreed, saying that while there was no shortage of innovative startups at the Wearable Show, the enthusiasm wasn’t matched by evidential business planning. “With few exceptions it’s keen young gym users designing tech for keen young gym users, pushing more shiny products into what is already a crowded market,” he commented. “Elvie – a pelvic floor exerciser, which won the startup Dragon’s Den was a welcome exception, showing that there are much bigger opportunities to be targeted if you don’t blindly follow the mainstream. It’s another of the better wearable startups I’ve seen recently which have been started by women. I think there may be a lesson there for the industry.”

Quote for the day:

"Knowing when to take your losses is an essential part of eventual success." -- Tom Peters

April 26, 2015

Investing in the Internet of Things
When objects can represent themselves digitally, they become greater than the object itself. They don’t just relate to you, but to surrounding objects and a database as well. Objects’ acting in unison is known as “Ambient Intelligence.” On the Internet of Things, devices large and small will be imbued with processing power and connected to one another, allowing them to share data and in some circumstances, control one another. Everything will be online, everything is monitored and everything is connected: our homes, our appliances, our financial systems, our government. Cars won’t need drivers, planes won’t need pilots wars won’t need soldiers.

The hottest gadgets of 1985
For the millennial generation it may be hard to imagine what life would be like without ubiquitous internet, smartphones, digital music and social media. But for those of us Gen-Xers that grew up in the 1980s, here's the pinnacle of tech that continues to inspire us, even 30 years later. In 1985, cell phones were so new to the market and so large that they weren't even portable per se -- they had to be installed in your car. Here's the two coolest dudes on TV at the time -- Don Johnson and Philip Michael Thomas in the first season of Miami Vice sporting a car phone in their Ferrari Daytona.

Review: The Intel Compute Stick -- the ultimate mobile PC
It operates using 802.11n Wi-Fi (note that the Stick operates only in the 2.4GHz band). It also uses Bluetooth 4.0, so you can connect peripherals such as a keyboard and mouse. The system is based on Intel's quad-core Atom Z3735F processor, which has been used mostly for tablets, has 2MB of processor cache and a base speed of 1.3GHz; using Intel's TurboBoost, it can go as fast as 1.8GHz. ... the Stick provided enough processing power for working with mainstream applications such as Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint as well as online programs like Gmail and Skype. It was reasonably fast for surfing, and worked like a charm for watching video using Netflix, MLB.tv and YouTube.

Five Simple Steps to Enact Data Governance
Usage starts where data first enters the organization—at the source. Some data are entered via various transactional or point-of-sales systems. Others data are acquired where they are merged, cleansed, transformed and consolidated downstream. Eventually all data points get aggregated in a warehouse and subsequently queried or get “data-marted” for specific analysis. This analysis supports various decisions throughout the organization – operational, tactical and strategic. The quality of the data defines what will happen downstream as data travel across and within the organization. As important decisions depend on data being usable, it is important that data elements are managed to their best quality. How do we ensure this? Here are 5 simple steps.

Windows 10 Technical Preview Build 10061 now available
This build will be available to the Fast ring, and will be delivered via Windows Update. You can wait for your PCs normal installation time for Windows Updates and it will install automatically, or you can go to Settings > Update & security > Windows Updates and click the “Check for updates” button. If you’re in the Slow ring, we made the decision not to push 10049 out to you because of the bug with long upgrade times caused by installing all Language Packs. We’ll evaluate how 10061 goes in the Fast ring before deciding whether to push it out to Slow as well. The Language Pack issue is a good example of our approach to the Fast/Slow rings for the Windows Insider Program, and why we have two rings.

Mobile guilt trips lead to distracted workers. Time to unplug?
Gordon says it's the CIO's job to help maintain work-life balance for employees. It's somewhat ironic, because the CIO was probably one of the primary enablers of work-life imbalance by building an always-on system that pushes the boundaries of mobile worker productivity. On the managerial side, a CIO can make the case that the blended work-life culture leads to higher quantity but lower quality of work. On the technical side, a CIO can adopt email features such as the solution in place at Huffington Post or create a true "do not disturb" state for mobile devices.  It's important to address this problem before feelings of guilt and stress get out of hand, Gordon says.

Honda proposes grid of accident-resistant, clean energy cars that go 180 mph
First of all, it's more of a vision and a discussion-starter than a fully conceived plan like Musk's Hyperloop. It will require a lot of different players with big egos to get on board and build consensus in order to make it work. It will depend on a U.S. government that has underfunded its highway infrastructure to change course and make a major investment. Paluch sat down with ZDNet in a HondaJet, the new light business aircraft it debuted at SAE, to talk more about its vision for a hyper fast highway system. "[Governments] want to build something. So why not give them a dream of something to build?" said Paluch. "But we as an industry haven't come up with an actual consolidated vision for what that future looks like. We have to create that vision."

3 Tips for Effective Stand-Up Meetings
Stand-Up meetings are a popular way to start the day for many product development teams. Usually they take around 15 minutes and are held standing up (surprise!). The idea is to keep the meeting short and to the point. With that in mind everybody goes through a routine of questions: What did I accomplish yesterday?; What will I do today?; and What obstacles are impeding my progress? Less emails, less unfocused hour-long meetings, less interruptions, more flow time. As added bonus they are also great for onboarding new team members. Let’s look into how introducing just three simple concepts helped us to make the Stand-Up work way better for us.

Randy Shoup and Andrew Phillips Answer Questions on Microservices
Shoup sees Microservices, Continuous Delivery, Agile practices, and DevOps as complementary approaches for delivering great software. When implementing microservices, “individual changes are bounded and easily understood, so it is easier to adopt a process of continuous integration or continuous delivery,” breaking down a larger feature into “many small steps, each of which can be understood, implemented, tested, and deployed individually.” Phillips considers that people are seeing some features as “big” because of the overhead needed to push them into production: “if it takes 25 people in a conference room a whole weekend to deploy something to production, you will not do it simply to change one line of code.”

Enterprise Architecture Celebrating its 40th Anniversary in 2015
It was 1975 when Wurman gave us the label “architecture”. We’ve come a long way in these forty years, and sometimes we forget about the vast range of techniques that form the core discipline of EA. I thought it would be useful therefore to give a brief history of EA as a reminder of the origins of some of these techniques. The 1970s was a fertile time for methodologies and approaches aimed at the development of applications and data. Information Engineering (IE) emerged in the late 1970s based on the original work of Clive Finkelstein and James Martin. IE is a business-driven methodology that provides an architectural approach to planning, analyzing, designing, and implementing applications.

Quote for the day:

"Surround yourself with great people; delegate authority; get out of the way" -- Ronald Reagan

April 25, 2015

Progressive CIO: 'We're Way Ahead' on Big Data
It's also true that as we have expanded into big data, and Snapshot helped us with that, obviously; we have so many billions of records that are accumulated there, and given our focus on segmentation we've always looked pretty far back in history. So we've had large data stored. But as we see the data horizon out there, we're keeping an eye on the ability to -- I suppose ‘mash-up’ is the word people would use -- our traditional data with our big data, just like everybody else. But as the technology has emerged over the last four or five years, we certainly didn't wait for the integration between traditional and big data to emerge before we jumped into the big data to make sure that we could understand.

Cloud security reaches silicon
The principle behind the scheme is that, whenever a chip needs to fetch data from a particular memory address, it should query a bunch of other addresses, too, so that an adversary can’t determine which one it’s really interested in. Naturally, this requires shipping much more data between the chip and memory than would otherwise be necessary. To minimize the amount of extra data needed, the researchers store memory addresses in a data structure known as a “tree.” A family tree is a familiar example of a tree, in which each “node” (a person’s name) is attached to only one node above it (the node representing the person’s parents) but may connect to several nodes below it (the person’s children).

How to balance data privacy and healthcare improvements
On the security front, the researchers recommend encrypting health data both in transition and at rest, noting that companies in the health space have become popular targets for cyber criminals. "Health data has become incredibly valuable," De Mooy says, citing recent high-profile breaches at insurance providers as a "telltale sign" that hackers are gunning for the healthcare sector. On the public-sector side, she notes that the government is in a unique position, acting at once as a payer and a provider, as well as the largest single steward of citizens' health data. In that light, both federal agencies and their contractors have a heavy burden when it comes to privacy and security.

Security Experts Hack Teleoperated Surgical Robot
The robot consists of two surgical arms that are manipulated by a surgeon using a state-of-the-art control console which includes video and haptic feedback. The robot itself runs on a single PC running software based on open standards, such as Linux and the Robot Operating System. It communicates with the control console using a standard communications protocol for remote surgery known as the Interoperable Telesurgery Protocol. This communication takes place over public networks that are potentially accessible to anyone. And because the robot is designed to work in extreme conditions, this communications link can be a low-quality connection to the internet, perhaps even over wireless.

Expert’s Thought on Project Management- Interview with Kannan Subbiah
The Architects had the biggest challenge, as they had to have a holistic view of the product and just not the current user stories being discussed. While they don’t need a detailed specification, what they needed was a blueprint of the business processes that is being automated, so that they can visualize how the smaller user stories are going to fit into the overall product architecture and what are the other dependent processes.What they also needed to consider was the unstated requirements that might come in any time. Documentation is another thing that made the difference. For developers, it was easy as they just needed to focus on the much smaller user stories every time when they take up a task, whereas the business and process analysts found it challenging to get a complete view.

Everyone has a part in the digital forensics process
Organizations need to discuss the role of digital forensics, even to those in non-technical roles. Without holistic consideration, there will not be data to utilize in a cybersecurity investigation. Digital forensics is used in conjunction with other business areas to investigate issues such as insider threats. In 2014, insider threats composed up to 35 percent of information security incidents. Digital forensics and compliance becomes increasingly difficult if IT policies are not practiced as suggested under ISO 27001:2013 or NIST 800-53. As mentioned in the white paper: In 2013, US President Barack Obama issued Executive Order (EO) 13636 to improve critical infrastructure cybersecurity.

5 Ways to Get Over Your Perfectionism
Recent research has shown that, in extreme cases, perfectionism can be a factor in everything from workaholism to an increased risk of suicide. "There’s nothing wrong with setting high standards," says Martin M. Antony, a professor of psychology at Ryerson University in Toronto, and co-author of When Perfect Isn’t Good Enough. "If you're setting standards that can't be met, and your whole self-worth is based on whether or not you meet those standards, then it causes problems for you." Problem perfectionism can cause issues like depression, anxiety, eating disorders, and other issues, Antony says. If you find that your perfectionism is having a negative impact on your life, it’s time to start working on it, he says.

How Cloud Has Changed the Data Center Architect
Cloud computing has made a big impact on the resiliency of the modern data center by helping extend complex resources over vast distances. The data center architect must understand what happens during a disaster event. New kinds of DCIM tools create visibility spanning multiple data center points and allow you to see how resources are being utilized. New methodologies around global server load balancing allow users to be dynamically redirected to the data center with available resources. Bottom line: There is a lot more automation, orchestration, and intelligence built into the modern data center to help support the cloud. Today, data center architects must be aware of those kinds of tools and how they help extend their data center infrastructure.

Q&A with Sandro Mancuso about The Software Craftsman
A small and quick feedback loop is what enables agility. However, if you only have an improvement in the process but still keep the same old developers working in the same old way when it comes to software development practices, being surprised that things are not better seems very naive to me. More and more we are seeing companies and managers complaining about Agile and saying that this Agile thing doesn’t work. Yes, that’s also one of the symptoms of the Agile Hangover.  On a more positive note, Agile processes are helping companies to visualise their problems faster and putting them in a better position to fix their issues, which includes improving their technical capabilities.

IT survival in a digital world
To be clear, traditional IT and the CIO are not going away anytime soon. Businesses and the government run on datacenters and applications that require traditional infrastructure and skills. The deep reservoir of existing systems is not going away anytime soon, which should give some solace to folks with traditional IT skills. However, the writing on the CIO wall is clear: embrace digital technologies, skills, competencies, and business models or your value and influence will decline. Research from PricewaterhouseCoopers on CEO perspectives about digital business reinforces the increasing pressure that IT and the CIO will experience going forward.

Quote for the day:

"Don't blow off another's candle for it won't make yours shine brighter." -- Jaachynma N.E. Agu

April 24, 2015

The Data Behind Democracy: Analytics and the 2015 UK General Election
All three of the main political parties in the UK have invested heavily in data analytics engines. Labour has Voter ID, The Conservatives have Merlin, and the Liberal Democrats use a system called Contact Creator. These systems analyse huge volumes of raw data to provide demographic analysis of voter behaviour and allow more effective segmentation to be achieved. As well as being used to try to predict the overall outcome, analytics are also used heavily throughout every stage of the campaign process. Data-driven insights allow parties to make important decisions in real time – decisions which are based on facts rather than speculation.

Apache Spark speeds up big data decision-making
“There are a couple of issues. Firstly, Hadoop is still immature: there are not millions of customers, there are thousands. Secondly, open-source projects like to move on quickly, whereas businesses want production environments to be stable and not change things at the same rate.” Nonetheless, Spark is finding a home alongside proprietary software. Postcodeanywhere, a provider of address data to popular e-commerce and retail websites, has been using Spark internally for more than a year to help understand and predict customer behaviour on its platform, enabling the company to improve service.

Small businesses: what you need to know about cyber security
Small businesses often fail to address cyber security until it’s too late. The combination of a lack of knowledge and the fear of expense can often lead them to ignore the problem altogether. Statistics show, however, that small businesses are as likely to be attacked as large businesses, if not more so. What SMEs often fail to realise is that all data is valuable to cyber criminals, wherever they can get it from. “…it is the data that makes a business attractive, not the size – especially if it is delicious data, such as lots of customer contact info, credit card data, health data, or valuable intellectual property.” – Jody Westby, CEO of Global Cyber Risk.

5 Impactful Steps to Take while Transitioning From Waterfall to Agile
Transforming from Waterfall to Agile involves a lot of hard work. Just like you can’t walk into the White House, you can’t simply decide to be agile. In his book Waterfall to Agile: A Practical Guide to Agile Transition, Arie Van Bennekum writes ‘transitioning from waterfall to agile is proving difficult for many people who can see the potential benefits agile has to offer but are struggling to get ‘the powers that be’ on-board. Understandibly this can be very frustrating.’ But honestly, it doesn’t have to work that way. No need to be all worked up. As Arie puts it, ‘with proven techniques and strategies, you will be able to create a successful Agile transition that’ll give you more influence in your organization and greater control over your career’.

Healthcare Identified as Top Priority for IoT Technology and Innovation
More than any other country (three times greater) surveyed, those in China believe space travel and aerospace deserve the strongest backing, Indians believes education is most crucial, and those in Germany are partial to improving entertainment by way of technology. In addition to the examination of IoT technology and innovation priorities, the survey also asked consumers what technologies they want to see rolled out this year. Universal internet got the most votes (68 percent), followed by flexible or foldable screens, 40 percent; self-driving cars, 37 percent; and space tourism, 15 percent.

This is How Effective CTOs Embrace Change
Perhaps the most interesting byproduct of going out of your way to get to know others is that your own goals will become much clearer, Cooke explains.As a CTO, you're likely focused on what you can do to help the business overall. “Knowing what key people in your organization need to be successful is one of the most meaningful things you can do to impact the company,” he says. “For example, meeting with the CMO to proactively support an upcoming user conference means I can help find speakers or line up customers to attend. When I meet with our chief revenue officer, I can learn about the sales cycle and attend important customer and partners meetings to help the company meet our numbers. At Twilio, I found an opportunity to support the legal team and help develop and execute the IP strategy.”

Governance of Enterprise IT Missing In Action
The great majority of IT organizations today operate within a politically entrenched, silo-based model where GEIT is a myth and enterprise strategies are nonexistent. At best, an enterprise IT function may have an operations strategy and a development strategy. However, for many organizations, each major silo will have its own IT strategy based on its own departmental objectives (e.g., infrastructure, business unit or shadow IT priorities) with little to no integration or shared collaboration. Even the concept of one integrated governance framework being adopted across all internal and external IT stakeholders would be scorned as impractical, naive and impossible within the current leadership and organizational structure.

Functional-Style Callbacks Using Java 8's CompletableFuture
The Java 5 concurrency library was focused on asynchronous task handling, based on a model of producer threads creating tasks and handing them off to task-consumers via blocking queues. This model was augmented in Java 7 and 8 with support for an alternative style of task execution, involving the decomposition of a task’s data set into subsets, each of which can then be processed by independent homogenous subtasks. The basic library for this style is the fork/join framework, which allows the programmer to prescribe how a data set should be split, and supports the submission of subtasks to a standard default thread pool; the “common”ForkJoinPool.

CIO-CSO tension makes businesses stronger
"There's a natural tension between these roles because they have what appear to be different priorities, and because in many larger organizations, the CSO role, and security in general, becomes a higher priority," says Justin Cerilli, managing director, financial services technology and operations, Russell Reynolds and Associates. "Both the CIO and the CSO are concerned with how to transform the business. What are the business' goals? How does technology both enable and hinder those goals? How can you focus on efficiency and speed of delivery, but also maintain security? These are really similar goals, but the priorities are different," Cerilli says.

Silicon Valley’s Help Sought as Pentagon Fights Cyber-Attacks
Defense Secretary Ashton Carter will make a pitch for cooperation on Thursday, in the first official visit in 20 years by a Pentagon chief to the Northern California region that spawned much of the world’s advanced technology. The effort comes amid warnings by defense officials that the U.S. military is losing its technological edge over potential rivals, including China. Carter, a trained physicist, may have the intellectual candlepower to meet Silicon Valley’s leaders on equal footing. But his call for closer ties is likely to meet resistance from high-tech executives still fuming over government spying disclosed by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden.

Quote for the day:

"If you don't understand that you work for your mislabeled "subordinates",then you know nothing of leadership.You know only tyranny." -- Dee Hock

April 23, 2015

Infosec still in the Dark Ages, says RSA president
According to Yoran, the industry has promoted a defensive strategy that aligns with a Dark Ages mindset of simply “building taller castle walls and digging deeper moats,” but that is not solving the problem. “It is like we’re working from a map of a world that no longer exists; and possibly never did,” he said. Yoran said that despite knowing that perimeters are not sufficient, the perimeter mindset persists, and the security profession continues to rely on signature-based systems. “We’ve all heard that the threats that matter most are the ones you haven’t seen before. These tools by definition are incapable of detecting the threats that matter to us most,” he said.

IT Security: The Good, the Bad & The Ugly [INFOGRAPHIC]
When it comes to IT security and risk, we've seen some pretty interesting things. The crazy part is that these things are very common among SMBs who either don't have budget allocated or don't place an importance on risk management. We want to offer you some statistics that will uncover the good things, the bad things and the downright ugly statistics that come with IT security for small business.

In Data Center Perimeter Security, TCO is a Continuous Process
To apply security products, you need to define the type of threat first: Are they terrorists or local kids? “The type of threat will guide you to the right budget and product,” said Claus. “We’ve seen it all.” After adding a deterrent around the perimeter, the next step is to determine how many layers of protection you need. Single layer sensor protection is a fence with sensors on the inside. A dual layer approach combines multiple types, in addition to better coverage; it better allows tuning out false alarms. One sensor technology is usually placed at the outer perimeter and the second at the asset. Multi-layer protection includes several different types. These sensors can extend beyond the perimeter to help detect someone doing reconnaissance. The downside is that it also detects animals and other triggers of false alarms.

Facebook’s secret plan to kill Google
Facebook is out to kill Google. There, I said it. You probably think I’m crazy, but there are a bunch of macro-trends coming together, as well as several moves that Facebook got right. that support this. But first, a disclaimer: I’m the cofounder of AdEspresso, a Facebook partner that manages advertising for SMBs and SMEs. As a Marketing Partner, we do have access to privileged information not disclosed to the public, as well as a view on a broader dataset of around $250 million of Facebook Advertising Data, but the analysis that follows is not based on any of the above, rather on public information that has been disclosed in the past few weeks paired with public insights from thought leaders.

Preparing for the digital disruption that’s coming to your industry
Whatever your business, significant disruption is either already occurring or on the way. Much of this is due to the latest wave of emerging and disruptive technologies that are serving as foundational building blocks for new, digitally based business models. I’ve talked with a number of CEOs and business leaders recently, all of them keen to glimpse around the corner to prepare for what’s ahead. Even if your business is going strong right now, you should be doing the same. To help you in this task, here are a few thoughts that arose from those recent discussions.

Systems thinking and practice
Those claiming systems ideas and methods have important characteristics in common, not least a common philosophical base. For these people systems has emerged as an important discipline or field of interest in its own right. They are interested not just in particular sorts of systems, but in systems thinking in general. And although systems has drawn ideas and techniques from engineering, biology, sociology, psychology and many other fields some say there is something special about systems, just as the different disciplines mentioned above are said to have different ways of thinking about the topic that characterises them.

Time for a new school of cyber defence, says HP
The first thing many organisations need to learn is that basic security hygiene must still be the top priority, he said. “The second thing is that it is the people and the processes that make us safe because so many of the attacks are against old vulnerabilities that we know exist,” said Gilliland. The third most important thing many organisations still need to learn is to focus on the security fundamentals, he said. Gilliland said that in relation to those fundamentals, for the past five years, HP and the Ponemon Institute have published an annual study that correlates spending on different categories of capability with the estimated cost of data breaches. The latest study found that a much broader focus on protecting the information that matters through things like the use of encryption will reduce the cost of breaches by 20%compared with the average.

Information Sharing: A Matter of Trust
While banking institutions have always been concerned about emerging attacks, they've historically been less concerned about identifying the threat actors who wage the attacks. That's mainly because banks don't have access to intelligence that would help them link attacks to certain groups or nation-states, Nelson says. Today, however, institutions, with the help of the federal government, are putting more emphasis on attribution, he adds. The government is increasingly helping the financial services industry attribute attacks to nation-states or specific crime rings, Nelson says. "Our government now is more willing to give attribution to these types of attacks, and we've seen that with some indictments against some senior officers in the Chinese military, and the Sony attack being attributed to North Korea."

Google Introduces Wireless Service Called Project Fi
“Since it’s hard to predict your data usage, you’ll get credit for the full value of your unused data,” according to the blog post. “Let’s say you go with 3GB for $30 and only use 1.4GB one month. You’ll get $16 back, so you only pay for what you use.” In many ways, the wireless service is similar to the Google Fiber Internet service that has been introduced in a handful of American cities, including the Kansas City area and Austin, Tex. Google is piggybacking on giant physical networks that are owned by other companies, creating a barrier that, for now at least, limits Google’s competitive threat to traditional carriers. But Google has a long history of trying to cut out middlemen — including Internet service providers, online stores and delivery businesses — that stand between the company and users.

Row-level security provides enterprise chops
Limiting access to the database in this way meant that a whole set of data access coding techniques I had previously used didn't work anymore, and that certain reporting packages didn't work either. You might ask why we went through all this trouble. The reason was that the company I was working for was a major bank and it had to ensure that users could only see the data for which they were authorized. It wasn't enough to implement this security in the application; it had to go in the database, so that no matter how a user connected to it -- through the application or directly -- unauthorized data remained inaccessible. Eventually I got used to the new programming patterns, and subsequent releases of major reporting tools became stored procedure-friendly. In effect, stored procedure access to tables had become an Enterprise standard throughout the industry.

Quote for the day:

"Leadership is Influence and Influence is All Around Us" -- Sam Shriver

April 22, 2015

Machine Dreams
The Machine is designed to overcome these problems by scrapping the distinction between storage and memory. A single large store of memory based on HP’s memristors will both hold data and make it available for the processor. Combining memory and storage isn’t a new idea, but there hasn’t yet been a nonvolatile memory technology fast enough to make it practical, says Tsu-Jae King Liu, a professor who studies microelectronics at the University of California, Berkeley. Liu is an advisor to Crossbar, a startup working on a memristor-like memory technology known as resistive RAM. It and a handful of other companies are developing the technology as a direct replacement for flash memory in existing computer designs. HP is alone, however, in saying its devices are ready to change computers more radically.

Top 10 Humanoid Robots Designed To Match Human Capabilities And Emotions
Some are predicting that robots of all types could fully replace humans by 2045. Artificial intelligence is now advancing to a point where a new type of brain can be offered to complement the relatively menial tasks of modern-day robotics, hinting at the next stage of machine evolution. The current list of robots designed over the last few years to match human capability demonstrate what is described above could become reality sooner than we think ... ASIMO, with his space-suit looking appearance, is cheerful and endearing. He has paved the way for many subsequent walking, human-like robots, but still holds his own as an advanced and powerful robot.

Why Combined Heat and Power Makes Sense for Data Centers
Generally, CHP engines are 40-percent efficient in the way they convert fuel into energy, according to Waldron. An average utility is 33 percent efficient. Energy is lost in the generation process, transmission, and transformers on the user’s property. With a 40-percent efficient engine, the remaining 60 percent of energy takes the form of heat, which an absorption chiller converts into chilled water. Coincidentally, the amount of chilled water a 40-percent efficient engine can produce this way is about equivalent to the amount of chilled water needed to cool the servers it powers, Waldron said. “It’s an interesting balance,” he said. “No-one designed the engine in that way. It just happened that way.”

GetReal Says Stop Messaging, Just Meet
Of course, being freshly launched, GetReal’s immediate hurdle is the network effect. The bootstrapping developer behind the startup, Arnaud Meunier — a U.S.-based former engineering manager at Twitter who was acqui-hired in 2010, when Twitter bought his prior startup Twitoaster, leaving in 2014 to work on GetReal — has to spoof his location to mine so I can see how the interface works. When he’s not around there’s no one else near me in London to try to meet. He says he’s been testing the project for two months with a beta group of around 200 users. The initial focus has been New York City and San Francisco — owing to the obvious pool of “tech industry people, willing and constantly needing to grow their networks”.

Java gets browser eviction notices from Spartan and Chrome 42
For most users, the removal of NPAPI is a welcome change -- modern web design is now focused on HTML5 and JavaScript, removing the need for additional plugins, which are often fraught with security vulnerabilities and memory leaks, or a measurably negative impact on battery life. That is not to say that these changes will bring about the end of all plugins. In Chrome, Flash support is contained in the new PPAPI plugin system. Oracle has not provided a PPAPI-compatible plugin for Java, nor has Microsoft for Silverlight. PPAPI is not a standardized technology -- it is only supported in Chrome and Opera, and Mozilla has no plans to include it in Firefox. For Windows 10, a new plugin system for Spartan is planned, but details have not yet been made available.

Why the journey to IPv6 is still the road less traveled
The new protocol, which is expected to provide more addresses than users will ever need, has made deep inroads at some big Internet companies and service providers, especially mobile operators. Yet it still drives less than 10 percent of the world’s traffic. This is despite evidence that migrating to IPv6 can simplify networks and even speed up the Web experience. The good news is that for ordinary enterprises, it can be just a matter of asking your ISP (Internet service provider) or hosting company for IPv6 service. Many of the major ISPs and CDNs (content delivery networks) are equipped to provide both IPv4 and IPv6 connections to a customer’s website, allowing partners and potential customers to reach it over the new technology if they have it.

How big will the connected vehicle market be?
“Connected vehicles have enormous potential to provide drivers with increased situational awareness of upcoming hazards and congestion,” he explained in Navigant’s latest study on the topic. “Automakers and governments are striving to meet consumer demands for safer cars with lower emissions and energy consumption,” Abuelsamid said. “This push is driving the development of a number of crucial technologies, including electrification and automated driving systems that rely on real-time data to vehicles, drivers, and pedestrians, through connected vehicle systems as V2X.”

Using Storytelling in Organizational Change
Obviously storytelling is not the single, sanctifying skill any leader or professional should master. The pitfall lies in believing that a story will help you get away with anything or that it is the key that will fit any door. A pitfall that has to do with the nature of the story you are telling is the temptation to make it all sound easy or spectacular. Robert McKee, an advisor to many award winning Hollywood storywriters, says we should never star an ‘overdog’ and that we should never star ourselves. It’s good to share successes but what people really want to hear is that you – or whoever the protagonist is – are also vulnerable. That you also face bad luck, that you also have to fight your inner demons, etc. Your story must draw them into empathy or identification with you. No identification, no connection.

Zurich Insurance turns to augmented reality to train 10,000 managers
Zurich, which is making a multi-million investment in learning technology, is developing mobile phone apps that will track a manager’s training and direct them to materials tailored to their style of learning. The technology is expected to come into its own during classroom-based training sessions, when managers will be able to point their phones at a poster or a “learning card” that could take them to a video, an online training course, or a book that could offer more in-depth information. “The challenge with training 50 people is how you direct them. Augmented reality allows people to self-direct. They can point a phone at a poster and get more information on coaching, for example,” said Neubauer.

EU data protection reform triggers privacy warning
The council is discussing changes to the new data protection regulation. The European Commission made the original proposal for a new regulation, which the European Parliament adopted with slight changes in March last year. However, while the original plan was well-defined and included strong data protections, documents leaked about the council's plans in March show that it is trying to destroy key elements of the original proposal, according to an analysis by European civil rights group EDRi, which wrote the email on behalf of the rights organizations. For instance, the council proposes to allow companies to collect personal data under a "legitimate interest" exception, which means that a company does not need to get an individual's consent to gather personal information if it feels it has a legitimate reason to do so.

Quote for the day:

"Make a decision to keep pressing forward. Keep believing and keep stretching until you see your dream fulfilled." -- Joel Osteen

April 21, 2015

The Internet of Finance: Unleashing the Potential of Blockchain Technology
Because most of today’s financial instruments exist electronically and because the current financial system is comprised of a set of digital records, many observers reason that blockchain technology could eventually supplant the current market infrastructure, where centralized ledgers are held and controlled by large institutions. However, for this to occur on a significant scale, various obstacles, including the blockchain’s requirement for enormous computational power and the associated high energy maintenance costs would need to be addressed. A number of analysts believe that these obstacles can, and will, be overcome and that blockchain technology could be as disruptive as the Internet thanks to its ability to transfer value as seamless and low-cost as the Internet made the transfer of information.

Microsoft’s Seven Tenets of Data Center Efficiency
As the field of robotics shifts away from static “dumb” robots that have resulted in inflexible manufacturing facilities toward more versatility, and design of data centers and especially data center hardware move toward more standardized commodity equipment where individual components can be easily replaced, “we’d expect to see robots much more inside the data center,” Slater said. ... While robots in data centers are a thing of the not-too-distant future, Microsoft already has some of the most efficient data centers in the world. Slater has started an initiative within the company to share the ways it achieves data center efficiency with the world and find areas that can apply to smaller enterprise data centers, whose challenges may be very different from homogeneous hyperscale facilities.

Bypassing The Password, Part 2: Trusted Identities
Security pundits have raised further concerns about the security of elliptic curves adopted as standards by the National Institute of Science and Technology (NIST) -- such as the type relied upon by FIDO -- in the wake of Edward Snowden's revelation that the NSA inserted a backdoor into at least one such NIST encryption standard. (NIST, incidentally, is the agency spearheading NSTIC.) Cyber security innovation and experimentation should generally be applauded, but -- even if unwittingly and unwillingly so -- FIDO's biometrics may wind up serving as a lapdog for government interests.

How the Internet of Things Can Unlock the Door to a More Robust BMS
Although the flexibility offered by open BMS solutions is highly desirable, property owners have too much invested in existing systems to simply abandon them. When “rip and replace” is not an option, it’s possible to use IoT technologies to instrument buildings with utility meters, people counters, and other sensors. ... Also augmenting existing equipment, Daikin Applied retrofitted its installed HVAC units to seamlessly connect to the cloud. As a result, customers of this leading air conditioning equipment manufacturer can proactively manage the performance of their buildings and address HVAC issues before they happen, thus avoiding expensive repairs and unpleasant temperature excursions. Online diagnostics provide year-round, 24-hour protection through early detection of equipment deterioration and abnormalities.

Huawei calls for global consensus on the future network
“The current network cannot solve these challenges. We need an end-to-end transformation,” said Xu. “We need to adopt a more open strategy to extensively collaborate with enterprises and carriers, because we cannot do it all ourselves.” Huawei claimed it was already playing a constructive role in helping to move the industry forward, and set out a new ambition to transition away from hardware to a more services-led business model as it pursues its collaboration goals. “In the future, products and services will be the driver, not just products, to fulfil business development. We can help [enterprises and carriers] pursue their ambition to transform the network, IT architecture and customer experience,” said Eric Xu, rotating CEO.

Security Professionals Stymied by Outdated Visualization Tools
Today, about 85% of a security analyst’s job involves looking at lines of code and characters and the remaining 15% is looking at visual graphics or representations of the information such as dashboards, graphics and maps. Ideally, that ratio should be reversed, author of the book, said Raffael Marty, author of the book, Applied Security Visualization. In some quarters of the security industry, there’s a dawning realization that better-considered visual tools, based on solid data and analytics, could help make it easier for network defenders to do their jobs and open up cybersecurity jobs to more types of people.

Containers: Fundamental to the cloud's evolution
At the hosted private cloud and hyperscale public cloud level, when you are talking thousands or hundreds of thousands of virtual machines, many of which that have workloads that have been shifted away from on-premises, you start running into scalability issues. So what's the long-term solution to VM sprawl? That solution is Containerization. Containerization, like VM technology, also originated on big iron systems. Although it previously existed on FreeBSD as "Jailing", the first commercial implementation of containers was introduced as a feature within the Sun (now Oracle) Solaris 10 UNIX operating system as "Zones". This technology eventually found its way into x86 Linux and Windows as Parallels (now Odin) Virtuozzo.

ISACA introduces a portfolio of new cybersecurity certifications
The CSX training and certifications were developed over a two-year period by a working group of global chief information security officers (CISOs) and other cyber security experts and went through a rigorous peer review by more than 100 experts. The innovative course delivery and testing components are the result of a collaboration with the Art of Exploitation (AoE) cyber security team of TeleCommunication Systems, Inc. (TCS), a world leader in cyber security training and enterprise solutions. A key feature of CSX’s training and skills verification is an adaptive, performance-based cyber laboratory environment. A professional’s skills and abilities are measured in a virtual setting using real-world cyber security scenarios.

Plan X: DARPA's Revolutionary Cyber Security Platform
Although Plan X has been described as in its nascent stages, it is already showing tremendous promise for the future of information security, the future of cyber defense, and the future of the Internet by making cyber security more accessible. The following slides offer an overview of some of the neatest accessibility features of DARPA's Plan X as publicly outlined thus far. These features, in turn, have stimulated our curiosity at InformationWeek, and we want to know what you think. What features of Plan X do you see potentially helping your organization's network security efforts? Can you see yourself managing an offshoot to keep track of the security of your own home network? Does the potential for network immersion that Plan X offers excite you or frighten you? Let us know your thoughts and reactions in the comments section below.

Driving Agile Architecting with Cost and Risk
One of the criticisms of architecture from the agile community is based on the misconception that an architect’s purpose in life is to deliver “an architecture,” commonly interpreted as a piece of documentation—which, according to the Agile Manifesto, is valued less than working software. This is a poor representation of what real architects do every day: they look for architectural concerns to address, figure out the options they have for addressing those concerns, and then decide the best course of action given their current context. Looking at it this way, the architect’s main deliverable isn’t a document but a stream of decisions.  This way of looking at architecture work is perfectly compatible with the agile mindset, regardless of whether these decisions emerge from early implementation and refactoring, from careful upfront modeling, or from a combination of both.

Quote for the day:

“Trust is knowing that when a team member does push you, they're doing it because they care about the team.” -- Patrick Lencioni