July 09, 2015

From cars to cranes, Nordic industry is embracing the industrial internet of things
The system, which connects a cloud backbone to small handheld device attached to welding machines, not only improves efficiency but also reduces faults by detecting whether a welder is following the specifications of a seam. If they are not followed or the system detects any other issues, the welder and his supervisor can be notified. And, instead of chalk, welders use their handheld devices to record the details of the job which are automatically uploaded to the cloud and assigned to their specific seam. Furthermore, the device can be attached to any welding machinery, not just Kemppi’s own.

A New Architecture for the Internet of Things
Explosive growth in connected devices. Enormous amounts of data for collection and analysis. Critical use of data for split-second decision making and actionable information. All three are factors in making the Internet of Things a reality. Yet, any one factor would have an IT organization pondering its infrastructure strategy. How should your organization enhance its IT framework to enable an Internet of Things implementation? In his session at @ThingsExpo, James Kirkland, Red Hat's Chief Architect for the Internet of Things and Intelligent Systems, described how to revolutionize your architecture and create an integrated, interoperable, reliable system of thousands of devices.

2015 Cyberthreat Defense Report
Web applicati ons, which are pervasive within today’s organizati ons, area target of choice for threat actors for many reasons, not the least of which is their high likelihood of including vulnerabiliti es and serving as a direct conduit to sensiti ve data. It is not surprising, therefore, that web applicati on att acks are among the top cyberthreats concerning security professionals, who remain far from confi dent about their organizati on’s security posture in this area. ... The potenti al of soft ware-defi ned networking to miti gate the onslaught of cyberthreats – for example, by enabling microsegmentati on and allowing integrated countermeasures to be “piped in” to a communicati ons path regardless of their physical locati on – is not lost on today’s IT security professionals.

United's woes show what's hard about networking
A router failure could mean a lot of things other than total shutdown. Often, it means a software glitch or a clumsy engineer's configuration mistake that can spread to other routers or affect their performance. The router may have malfunctioned, but the rest of the network doesn't know it, said Dell'Oro Group analyst Alam Tamboli. United hasn't shared more details of its latest problem. Router software upgrades are a frequent cause of widespread network breakdowns that lead to embarrassing headlines. In fact, updating network software can be such an ordeal that some enterprises keep running the same versions for years, choosing to manage the risk of security holes rather than take on the dangers of an upgrade, Skorupa said.

How one wearable for women is bringing self defense tools into the modern age
Originally, Mustafa's idea for Roar was wearable mace. She realized that existing self defense tools have not been updated in 70 years, when pepper spray was invented. Women don't want to take tasers or mace to bars or other locations, so the idea was that instead of having to take something out of a purse or pocket, women could already have mace on them. She thought it was genius. But then, Mustafa started talking to women and posted a survey on Facebook, asking women what they liked/disliked about existing self defense tools. In a couple of hours, she received hundreds of responses. And there was a pattern. Almost 40% of women owned tools, but most were afraid mace and tasers would be used against them if they were overpowered.

Android tablets, Chromebooks, and convertibles: Which setup makes sense for you?
Despite Google's ongoing efforts, the Web and even Chrome OS itself aren't entirely optimized for touch-centric experiences. Going into a tablet mode on a convertible Chromebook is enjoyable for things like reading content, watching videos, or scrolling through social media streams -- as you can push the keyboard out of your way and focus solely on the screen -- but the experience is far more limited and less natural-feeling than doing the same on an Android device. By and large, native Android apps just provide a superior touch experience to their website counterparts. It's something that's hard to quantify, but they're designed explicitly for that type of interaction and tend to be more pleasant to use.

CIO interview: Andy Haywood, group CIO, N Brown
“Our current digital offerings are very good, but they’re not as fast as some of our competitors. I don’t mean web speed, but the ability to change and adapt. In the digital world, we want to be making changes every hour of every day,” says Haywood. “That’s the difference between winning and losing in the digital space - agility and speed is needed to react to the market and to customers. That’s what the Hybris digital platform will give us. ... “It's about that customer-centricity being brought to bear on the transformation programme. The credit element is just one example where we’re not yet able to provide the flexibility and choice that most other businesses are giving their customers,” says Haywood.

Which in-memory DBMS best fits your company's needs?
Not all in-memory database systems are relational. Aerospike is an open source, in-memory, NoSQL database management system. It's a key-value data store that enables developers to build personalized user experiences and data-driven applications that scale out to process millions of transactions per second with sub-millisecond response times. Aerospike runs on Linux with support offered for many different Linux distributions including pre-built binaries for Red Hat, Ubuntu, CentOS and Debian. Although Aerospike is available as open source, it can also be commercially licensed. The commercial edition of Aerospike adds features such as cross datacenter replication, fast restart and improved security.

Cutting Jobs, Microsoft Turns Page on Nokia Deal
While Microsoft will not stop making smartphones, Mr. Nadella said on Wednesday that it would no longer focus on the growth of that business, instead emphasizing the expansion of the broad “ecosystem” of products, including mobile phones, that run its Windows software. Since he took over, Mr. Nadella has increased the development of apps and services for Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS devices, many of which have been popular with the public. “I am committed to our first-party devices, including phones,” Mr. Nadella said in an email to Microsoft employees. “However, we need to focus our phone efforts in the near term while driving reinvention.”

Business, Design, and Engineering: Developing Collaboration-Culture
Disrupt or be disrupted. Traditional approaches to building great software are quickly falling by the wayside. With myriad of smaller, more nimble competitors rapidly entering the marketplace, how will your business innovate, survive and thrive? This series offers readers tactical approaches to building software that your customers love. Break down existing silos and create an environment for cross-collaborative teams: placing technology, business and user experience design at the core.

Quote for the day:

"Never try to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and it annoys the pig." -- Paul Dickson

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