July 14, 2015

CIOs must embrace consumer cloud tools or risk losing control

Finding the right data and information is still a complex and convoluted proposition for many employees, so they look to external tools for help, according to Vanessa Thompson, research director of enterprise social networks and collaborative technologies, IDC.Thompson says IDC's latest research indicates that inefficient access to data from remote locations is undermining productivity, and she says it's getting worse. For example, Thompson still hears from executives who email their work as attachments to personal accounts because they can't easily share work files or take them home from work. It's not always a bad thing for employees to use multiple collaboration platforms at work, but disparate sets of tools can negatively affect workflow and productivity, and threaten a company's information assets.

An Overview of NFV Elements

The main appeal of using NFV to deploy network elements and virtual network functions (VNFs) is that services can be launched more quickly, by installing software on a standard hardware platform. This is akin to the way software applications could be developed and launched for the PC platform when it first emerged. Another advantage is lower capital expenditures, because standardized hardware platforms tend to drive down costs. The NFV model also adds flexibility, allowing service providers to launch, improve, and incrementally optimize services using software updates rather than wholesale hardware replacement. It will also create an “ecosystem” of third-party software vendors eager to supply improvement.

Why 'Follow Your Passion' Is Awful, Flawed Advice

Passions are magical, but businesses are grounded in realities. Do you remember when Dorothy and the gang peered behind the curtain to find out that the Wizard of Oz wasn’t an all-powerful being, but rather, kind of a loser? Or when you found out that Santa Claus wasn’t real? Or when you figured out that your parents weren’t superheroes, just people with flaws? It sucked, right? Our hobbies are about escapism. There is a bit of magic and fantasy in them. When you make that your business, you are privy to the nuts and bolts. That tempers the magic.

A Biodegradable Computer Chip That Performs Surprisingly Well

In conventional chip manufacturing, electronic components like transistors are made on the surface of a rigid wafer made of a semiconducting material such as silicon. Researchers at the University of Wisconsin, led by Zhenqiang (Jack) Ma, a professor of electrical and computer engineering, made the electronic components in a similar way but then used a rubber stamp to lift them from the wafer and transfer them to a new surface made of nanocellulose. This reduced the amount of semiconducting material used by a factor of up to 5,000, without sacrificing performance. In two recent demonstrations, Ma and his colleagues showed they can use nanocellulose as the support layer for radio frequency circuits that perform comparably to those commonly used in smartphones and tablets. They also showed that these chips can be broken down by a common fungus.

Hacked in the U.S.A.: China’s Not-So-Hidden Infiltration Op

“China is building the Facebook of human intelligence capabilities,” said Adam Meyers, vice president of intelligence for cybersecurity company CrowdStrike Inc. “This appears to be a real maturity in the way they are using cyber to enable broader intelligence goals.” The most serious breach of records occurred at the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, where records for every person given a government background check for the past 15 years may have been compromised. The head of the government personnel office, Katherine Archuleta, resigned Friday as lawmakers demanded to know what went wrong. The campaign began in early 2013 with the travel records, said Laura Galante, manager of threat intelligence for FireEye Inc., a private security company that has been investigating the cyber-attacks.

How cloud governance proves essential in the Bimodal IT era

To a great extent, the advent of social media has also resulted in direct customer feedback on the sentiment from the external customer that businesses need to react to. That is actually changing the timelines. It is requiring IT to be delivered at the pace of business. And the very definition of IT is undergoing a change, where we need to have the right paradigm, the right technology, and the right solution for the right business function and therefore the right application.Since the choices have increased with the new style of IT, the manner in which you pair them up, the solutions with the problems, also has significantly changed. With more choices, come more such pairs on which solution is right for which problem. That's really what has caused the change that we're going through.

Hacking Team's malware uses UEFI rootkit to survive OS reinstalls

UEFI is a replacement for the traditional BIOS (Basic Input/Output System) and is meant to standardize modern computer firmware through a reference specification. But there are multiple companies that develop UEFI firmware, and there can be significant differences between the implementations used by PC manufactures. Hacking Team developed a method for infecting the UEFI firmware developed by Insyde Software, a Taiwanese company that counts Hewlett-Packard, Dell, Lenovo, Acer and Toshiba among its customers, according to security researchers from antivirus vendor Trend Micro. “However, the code can very likely work on AMI BIOS as well,” the Trend Micro researchers said in a blog post. .

How to Beat the Bots

Technology is redefining work and commerce, and if we’re smart it can also redefine education for employment and advancement so everyone can monetize, or improve, any skill and connect with any employer in need of it. “Up to 540 million people could benefit from online talent platforms by 2025,” McKinsey said. It is not that hard. We need to be making much better use of the federal government’s labor market data and that of websites like Monster.com, HireArt.com and LinkedIn, and even consider creating skill equivalents of the Obamacare health exchanges. Online talent platforms — that can link everyone’s C.V. with every job opening, with the skills needed for that job, with the online and campus-based schools offering those skills with data showing which schools do it best — create more employment, more relevant skills and the right education for them.

Changing the World by Spreading the Knowledge of Innovators

According to O'Reilly, no matter the size of the company, as long as organizations have the right core values and mission, they can be having fun and creating value. In his career he has found that many of the most interesting movements actually start, not with entrepreneurs wanting to make money, but with people who just want to make something cool and are having fun doing it. Although the fun stage of companies doesn't always last forever -- when companies get to a certain size the logic of the machine takes over -- the commitment and values driven mentality does. "I think the Google of 10 or 15 years ago was having a lot more fun than the Google of today, even though Larry and Sergey really are deeply committed and values driven," says O'Reilly.

Integrating Raft into JGroups

Raft favors consistency over availability: in terms of the Cap theorem, jgroups-raft is a C-P system, meaning that if it can’t get a majority of nodes agreeing, it won’t be available but it will maintain its consistency. If for example we have a cluster of 5 nodes, 3 is the majority, so it will be possible to read/write on the system even with 2 nodes failures. With more than 2 failures it’s impossible to get a majority so the system won’t be available (though it’s possible to have some read-only features in this case). In summary, at a very high level Raft consists of a leader election, (which requires a majority), as well as nodes being coordinated by the leader, each having one persistent log detailing what they are doing. An excellent graphic explanation of how Raft algorithm works in detail is available here.

Quote for the day:

"By the time they fully evolve, machine learning will have become culturally invisible " McKinsey on Machine Learning

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