November 23, 2015

Ten great gifts for the hacker in your life

"The 21 Bitcoin Computer is ideal for buying and selling digital goods and services. You can use it to create bitcoin-payable APIs, set up your own personal digital goods store, pay people to share your content online, or host online games of skill." It's not cheap ($395) and comes with controversy, but it's a cool toy with a lot of potential, and 21 Inc. is going to be releasing an open source package for the device soon. ... In this reviewer's opinion, every hacker should have a USB Armory in their stocking this year.The Inverse Path USB Armory ($130) is a little USB stick with an entire computer onboard (800MHz ARM processor, 512MB RAM), designed to be a portable platform for personal security applications -- and lives up to its reputation as "the Swiss Army Knife of security devices."

IBM SoftLayer Performance Less Impressive Than Claimed

If nothing else, the claim reflects the nervousness of database vendors as Amazon launches competing database services on its own cloud. Amazon's Kinesis in-memory system could be construed as a competitor with VoltDB, a point that Kepes noted at the time. This year, the tests were done again, this time by Callaghan (a third party) rather than VoltDB tester Alex Rogers, who conducted the 2014 tests. Contacted by InformationWeek, a VoltDB spokesman said IBM played no role in financing the tests. Callaghan explained in a disclaimer note on his Acme site: "Someone from VoltDB contacted me in June asking if I'd be interested in performing a cloud vs. cloud benchmark, offering to compensate me for my time and to cover any cloud vendor bills." Callaghan agreed to do the benchmark.

Google unveils Android Studio 2.0 with Instant Run

The Google search team has also added some functionality to Android Studio: Developers can generate and test deep links directly right from the IDE. Just last week, Google unveiled its search index has 100 billion deep links into apps and that over 40 percent of Google searches on Android now surface app content. Android Studio is based on IntelliJ, an open source Java IDE. Android Studio 2.0 is based on IntelliJ 15, which launched just a few weeks ago, and thus has the following features: Instant preview for Find in Path, Run configurations with a state indicator, enhanced debugging for the Java programming language with Force Return (gives greater control over flow of execution), improved UI for testing, one-click run of application or tests, and adjustments for color deficiency.

6 Best Practices for Working From Home

Anyone who works from home will tell you that it has its benefits, yet also challenges. When I started my business in 1998, social media did not exist, I had no clients and most of my friends worked in a traditional office setting. After working for a large hotel for nearly six years, I had grown accustomed to being surrounded by people each day. Working from home provided peace and solitude, yet I was lonely. I had no one to interact with except my yellow Labrador. No humans were around for sharing ideas. I worked long hours, many in my pajamas. No one was there to hold me accountable for my work and I had to force myself to rise at a reasonable hour each morning and develop self-discipline.

VMware CIO: 'I've worked for a lot of evil people in my career'

"We've grown at an exponential rate and are now at a stage where we need to set up for new business models to support the next generation of growth," he said. A case in point: "We sell licenses, but a lot of our customers are now asking for subscriptions," he explained. "We're getting to the guts of our processes and making sure they're improving." There are other significant shifts taking place in VMware's market as well. The rise of container technologies such as Docker, for example, is viewed by many as a threat to virtualization, which is VMware's bread and butter. Iyer, however, isn't worried. "I have been through so many hype cycles," he said. Iyer has asked IT staff to try out container technology internally, and they've liked it, he said.

2016: The Year of The Data Center

Many IT decision makers are relying on strategically located data centers rather than relying solely on a hub. For example, instead of storing massive amounts of data in a few select data centers, application providers are moving their applications to “the edge,” (in locations where they can serve customers locally, and reach more businesses and consumers in more markets) in order to be able to serve their consumers more closely and reduce discontinuations. Another item to consider when thinking about location is costs associated to that particular area. Are there tax incentives for businesses in that region? What are the utility costs for that area? These are all location elements that IT executives need to consider when selecting a location.

Jide Remix Mini: Does the 'world's first true Android PC' deliver?

Remix also provides both a custom file manager and control panel. The control panel offers a view of system settings that looks similar to a Mac OS X control panel, with a few horizontal rows of icons. The file manager provides one-click access to documents, pictures, music, and movies, in addition to the file system. Remix adds windowing, too. Many apps run not only in full-screen mode, but also in re-sizable windows. Gmail, Google Docs, Chrome, and the Microsoft Office apps all support windowing. However, some apps, such as Google Hangouts, only work full-screen. Jide continues to update Remix OS to fix bugs and improve functionality. Multi-tasking works surprisingly well, too.

The Surprising Truth About DevOps in Banks

Banking IT is generally heavily siloed in terms of organizational structure and reporting lines, and also often suffers from the geographic distribution of teams or off-shoring. Culturally however, I believe that there are not the same barriers and lack of cross department collaboration as I see elsewhere in other industries. On the whole, banking technology organizations seem less siloed than in other industries. On my development teams, we generally had a positive relationship with testers, working together early in the development cycle in a highly collaborative way. Although offshore, our testers were highly skilled and had a high degree of understanding about the system we worked on together. We understood their world and they understood ours, and incentives, goals and KPIs were aligned across both groups - to deliver high quality software, early and often.

Enterprise networks need to address mobility trends

Data security is a complex area of enterprise mobility trends, and one that technology can only address to a point. A state-of-the-art network won't be enough to safeguard business data if employees don't follow basic security protection procedures. Furthermore, in this capacity, IT can only do so much since a lot of mobile activity occurs off the network. And since most mobile devices are used jointly for business and personal needs, the business data stored on them will be vulnerable even in the most casual sessions, such as connecting over the public Internet during personal time. Considering these mobility trends, IT will likely need to deploy mobile device management (MDM) to protect both the devices and the local area network (LAN). This plan will entail some level of encryption for all flows of mobile communication, including voice, email and browser access.

Getting started with a career in cybersecurity

So cybersecurity workers are in high demand, the jobs pay well, and they're important and critical to safeguarding our society. That sounds to many like an ideal opportunity. But what does it take to get hired and thrive in such a gig? Here are a few things to consider. Cybersecurity (and IT in general) are not the same as computer science. Traditional computer science can be helpful, but it's not the full story. If you're going to design unbreakable encryption (or crack unbreakable encryption), you're going to need deep education in computer science and math, because you're dealing with everything from stats to finite automata. But there's also all the knowledge needed about how current systems work, which computer science doesn't necessarily prepare you for. That's best handled by all the certification classes, particularly the Microsoft-sponsored ones.

Quote for the day:

"Business is all about solving people's problems -- at a profit." -- Paul Marsden

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