December 16, 2015

Move Fast and Fix Things

The first thing we do when starting an experiment is enable it for a tiny fraction (1%) of all the requests. When an experiment "runs" in a request, Scientist does many things behind the scenes: it runs the control and the candidate (randomizing the order in which they run to prevent masking bugs or performance regressions), stores the result of the control andreturns it to the user, stores the result of the candidate and swallows any possible exceptions (to ensure that bugs or crashes in the new code cannot possibly impact the user), and compares the result of the control against the candidate, logging exceptions or mismatches in our Scientist web UI.

Why fail fast when you can learn?

Start-ups are comfortable with the prospect of failure - it comes with the territory. When a start-up's new idea, feature or service does not work it is quickly amended or removed altogether and the business moves on to the next idea. Failing fast has become a mantra in the digital age. Traditional businesses - and particularly CIOs - are regularly encouraged to follow the start-up community in their willingness to experiment and to fail. As long as the failure is small in nature, recognised quickly and appropriate action is taken to stop or adjust the experiment then, CIOs are told, everything will be OK.

Experts predict what 2016 will bring for DevOps and IT

“Thinking about log data may seem too far in the weeds for most tech industry professionals. However, using analytics to monitor, manage and gather insights from logs will be the only near-perfect way to make sense of the increasingly complex and cloud-based architectures.” Log management isn’t exactly new or cutting edge, but Beedgen believes that 2016 will see more vendors trying to move into the log management space,  ... The sharing economy has changed the way businesses engage customers and deliver services, and that includes IT through aspects such as cloud services, microservices, APIs and more. Fitz predicts, “Next year this ‘Uberfication of IT’ will turn into a ‘Balkanization of IT,’ driving stakeholders to demand better insight, governance and control of federated technologies to integrate adoption, usage, monitoring, security, cost control and more across shared services.”

The Dark Side of Wearables: How They're Secretly Jeopardizing Your Security 

As wearable devices make their way into the workplace and corporate networks, they bring a host of security and privacy challenges for IT departments and increase the amount of data that data brokers have to sell about an individual. Jeff Jenkins, chief operating officer and co-founder of APX Labs, talked about the security and privacy of wearables during a panel interview with Tech Pro Research at CES 2015. Because wearable devices are designed to be small and portable, Jenkins said, "you have to make sure you're thinking security first and you're thinking about the information that's being generated by them. You have situations where it's no longer just personal data that may be exposed or compromised, but also potentially operational data, that could be sensitive in nature."

Top 15 security predictions for 2016

In putting a security spin on the holiday song, “It’s the most predictive time of the year.” Not that those in the industry – even the best informed – have an infallible crystal ball. It’s that being effective in an ever-more-rapidly evolving threat environment means looking ahead. An accurate prediction can help an organization protect itself better. A wrong one can mean less ability to prevent or respond effectively to a breach that can damage reputation, the bottom line and more. So, here are some best guesses about 2016 from more than a dozen vendors and analysts.

The Internet crisis coming January 1, 2016 is way worse than Y2K

on January 1, 2016, anyone with a phone that’s more than five years old will not be able to access the encrypted web, which includes sites that are extremely important for most people to access, like Google, Facebook, and Twitter. The population this change will most affect are residents of the developing world, where up to 7% of people could find themselves without Internet because their 5+ year old phones don’t pass encryption muster. Most sites are encrypted. If you see that https with a green lock at the start of a URL, that means the site has been certified, and you know that you’re on, say, the real HelloGiggles, as opposed to a dastardly impostor hellbent on destroying all the cat videos in the world. No, but in all seriousness, encryption means that you can browse the Internet with an easy mind, and not worry that one wrong click will jeopardize your security.

In Virtual Reality, Exercise Bike Becomes a Race Car

With several virtual-reality headsets for consumers coming out this year—including Oculus’s anticipated Rift—excitement is growing around applications like gaming. But virtual reality has long been used for rehabilitation, including exercising. A 2011 study from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, for instance, found that when people thought the intensity of a virtual-reality workout increased, so did their motivation. Inside the headset, VirZoom cofounder and CEO Eric Janzsen challenged me to a race-car race. I leaned to hug corners on tight turns and pedaled faster to speed up my car. When I rolled over what looked through my headset like rougher ground, I was forced to pedal harder to keep up the same pace.

Top 5 Shakers: Outlook on the Future of Mobile Technology

It might work different but there will be no popularity for anything that doesn’t serve privacy and no design that is invasive to the environment will become dominant either. Right now the phone market is cold and without innovation. The only drivers are more and better computing power and maybe a better camera. I am really bored by what the major manufacturers are throwing in the market right now. There are some interesting ideas around and startups and lesser manufacturers are at least trying to bring them to market. However the market segment is too small and far from gobbling up a significant piece of the market, which is currently served by large brands primarily, and that means it won’t drive user culture change.

Why Microsoft will beat Google in the enterprise cloud war

It's easier to get started with Google's tools, for example, but Microsoft provides greater flexibility and support for critical IT deployment needs, according to Keitt. Office 365 customers have more options when it comes to licensing for apps and data that will be hosted by Microsoft partners; access to the platform in a shared environment; and using dedicated Office 365 environments. "Google doesn't provide that deployment flexibility," Keitt says, and adds that Google for Work only supports multi-tenancy deployments. Vanessa Thompson, research vice president at IDC ( and IDC are both owned by IDG Communications), says both platforms are gaining momentum. "As the level of comfort for cloud-based solutions in general increases, there will be uplift across both solutions."

Software-as-a-Service: What businesses need to know

Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) is a new distribution model that is rapidly gaining popularity with businesses all over the world. A branch of cloud computing, SaaS lets businesses and consumers lease a particular piece of software from a third-party supplier, who delivers it over a network connection – most commonly the Internet. As with other examples of cloud computing, this provides a number of benefits in terms of flexibility, scalability and affordability, which is why it is hardly surprising that many businesses have been willing to embrace SaaS. ... The fact that businesses are no longer purchasing their software outright, as they did with previous distribution models, is mirrored by the growth of other cloud sectors and, indeed, other industries. Resource sharing is gaining more traction in both business and consumer markets, enabling much greater efficiencies to be achieved.

Quote for the day:

"You can't think your way out of a box; you've got to act." -- Tom Peters

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