May 23, 2015

Government should take agile approach to policy and service delivery, says Hancock
Speaking at the Institute for Government, Hancock hailed the development of digital services during the last government, such as the website and online identity system Verify, as an illustration of how the Cabinet Office is “leading by example” on matters of providing solutions. “Small teams of developers building a product quickly and cheaply then iterating to improve it, not through long consultations and private advice but by seeing how it survives contact with reality,” said Hancock. “It will more and more be the way of the future – not just in digital but for all policy-making and service delivery.” Hancock said the next steps for the Cabinet Office will be to deliver a better government and society by acting as a “cohesive centre” for government to challenge and support the Cabinet.

Firefox Maker Battles to Save the Internet—and Itself
Suddenly, though, the Internet looks nightmarish to Mozilla. Most of the world now gets online on mobile devices, and about 96 percent of smartphones run on either the Apple iOS or Google Android operating systems. Both of these are tightly controlled worlds. Buy an iPhone, and you’ll almost certainly end up using Apple’s Web browser, Apple’s maps, and Apple’s speech recognition software. You will select your applications from an Apple-curated app store. Buy an Android phone, and you will be steered into a parallel world run by Team Google. The public-spirited, ad hoc approaches that defined Mozilla’s success in the Internet browser wars have now been marginalized. Developers don’t stay up late working on open-source platforms anymore; instead, they sweat over the details needed to win a spot in Apple’s and Google’s digital stores.

Data Encryption In The Cloud: Square Pegs In Round Holes
In the end, the resulting encryption algorithms are not only secure, but solve the key usability issues of making it easy to specify a “peg size.” Innovative security vendors offer the ability to specify regular expressions to allow fast prototyping of formats at customer sites, and to greatly decrease the cost of developing new encryption engines. In most encryption products for structured data, each different type of field needs its own encryption engine. This is time-consuming, complex, and error-prone. With FPE, the process of creating a new encryption engine is as simple as picking a regular expression, which describes the field. Thus, creating a new encryption engine is something that any developer can do seamlessly. This allows them to quickly adapt to the particulars of different cloud services.

Three must-read cyber security green papers
All businesses must address the issue of cyber security. You need to know what risks your business faces, what to do about them, and how to protect yourself in the future. Cyber criminals lurk everywhere and look for weaknesses in systems and networks. It’s not personal (most of the time); it’s simply the exploitation of a vulnerability. If you don’t address these vulnerabilities, you put your business and your customers at risk. But before you panic and throw your computer out the window, help is at hand. At IT Governance we specialise in helping businesses find cost-effective cyber defences. We’ve distilled this knowledge into a range of green papers to help you get to grips with what you need to know and what you need to do to protect yourself.

Application Delivery, Management, And Ongoing Change Are All Part of DevOps
Every business today is a digital business, and every digital business runs on apps. There are apps for employees, internal constituents, vendors, and customers. Some apps are focused business to business (B2B) while others are geared business to consumer (B2C). For many companies, application delivery and management are competitive differentiators in the marketplace, critical to acquiring and retaining customers. Apps are the way people engage, interact, and get business done. It’s no surprise, then, that IT departments are pouring time, effort, and money into application development – whether for their own company’s proprietary use or to sell on the open market. And the twin guiding lights for all application development are speed and quality.

VPI Gateway Considerations
A VPI gateway looks exactly like a switch from the outside, but its logical behavior is more complex. This additional complexity must be taken into consideration during fabric design. Unless this is done, serious issues can result. For example, aggregate bandwidth may be low, or disruptive fabric changes may be required, or unexpected credit loops may be created. From the InfiniBand fabric perspective, ‘in band’, a gateway consists of an InfiniBand switch plus an internal HCA. The HCA is sometimes referred to as a TCA, and is connected to port N+1 on the switch ASIC.

Big data brings new power to open-source intelligence
Two overlapping developments in particular have greatly influenced the growth of open-source intelligence. First, the explosion of social media has given us instant access to a wealth of user-generated content. From Facebook to Twitter to Google+, we are now only ever a few keystrokes away from a potentially global audience. And as these tools increase global connectivity, people seem increasingly willing to project their thoughts, opinions and observations into cyberspace. The process of information generation has produced what has been described as “new digital commons of enormous size and wealth”. Second, and on a larger scale, the scope of open-source intelligence has been completely changed by the rise of big data.

Why Businesses Should Exercise Caution with Full Cloud Integration
No matter how popular cloud-based technology becomes, or how expedient it seems, consumers should exercise caution when it comes to full cloud integration. The cloud is not always as easy to access and use as the providers may claim. At any given time you could be denied access to data. This is not good at all considering the fact that cloud services are paid for and can get costly. The most concerning aspect of full cloud integration is security. The bottom line is that cloud security and privacy are not guaranteed. It is important to be fully aware of the terms and conditions, as well as the things you upload and store, when using cloud services and especially when considering full cloud integration.

Should I learn Java? Maybe, maybe not
The question is what depth of knowledge you need, given your stated professional direction. The answer to this question will help you decide if learning the desired new technology is nice-to-know, good-to-know, should-definitely-know, or cannot-live-without. For example, if you are a Business Analyst and would like to speak more technically with the programmers, then Java would be a good-to-know. If you are a programmer and want to expand your marketability, Java would be a should-definitely-know. Lastly, if you’re a production DBA and are just curious what the programmers are doing all day, learning Java is a nice-to-know, but your time may be better spent expanding your knowledge of database and data center based technologies.

Enterprise Architecture Beyond the Perimeter
An increasingly mobile workforce and the ubiquity of attacks on client platforms limit the effectiveness of the traditional corporate network perimeter-security model. Beyond Corp is a broad effort to re-architect the delivery of Google corporate computing services, removing privileges granted solely on the basis of network address. The Overcast architecture blueprint is key to this, presenting a model of machine identity, authentication, and inventory-aware authorization. We discuss the background of our work, our general approach, challenges encountered, and future directions. ... USENIX is committed to Open Access to the research presented at our events. Papers and proceedings are freely available to everyone once the event begins. Any video, audio, and/or slides that are posted after the event are also free and open to everyone.

Quote for the day:

"Our business in life is not to get ahead of others, but to get ahead of ourselves." -- E. Joseph Cossman

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