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Dec 16th, 2013 — Dec 22nd, 2013 Generate the Custom HTML Email for this Issue
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Oracle Buys Responsys
For approximately $1.5 billion
Oracle announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire Responsys, Inc. (NASDAQ: MKTG), the leading provider of enterprise-scale cloud-based B'C marketing software, for $7.00 per share in cash or approximately $1.5 billion, net of Responsys' cash. Responsys is used by the most respected B'C brands across the globe to orchestrate marketing interactions across email, mobile, social, display and the web, at massive scale.

The addition of Responsys extends Oracle's Customer Experience Cloud, which includes Commerce, Sales, Service, Social and the Oracle Marketing Cloud. By bringing together Responsys and Oracle Eloqua in the Marketing Cloud, for the first time CMOs that support industries with B'C or B'B business models will be equipped to drive exceptional customer experiences across marketing interactions and throughout the customer lifecycle from a single platform.

Oracle Reports Quarterly Revenues of $9.3 billion; EPS up 5% to 56 Cents
Double-digit revenue growth in Exadata, Exalogic and Exalytics
Oracle Corporation (NYSE: ORCL) announced that both fiscal 2014 Q2 GAAP and non-GAAP total revenues were up 2% to $9.3 billion. GAAP new software licenses and cloud software subscriptions revenues were unchanged at $2.4 billion, while non-GAAP new software licenses and cloud software subscriptions revenues were down 1% to $2.4 billion.

Both GAAP and non-GAAP software license updates and product support revenues were up 6% to $4.5 billion. Hardware Systems revenues, including hardware systems products and hardware systems support, were unchanged at $1.3 billion. Hardware systems products revenues were down 3% to $714 million.

GAAP operating income was down 2% to $3.4 billion, and the GAAP operating margin was 37%. Non-GAAP operating income was down 1% at $4.2 billion, and the non-GAAP operating margin was 46%. GAAP net income was down 1% to $2.6 billion, while non-GAAP net income was up 1% to $3.2 billion. GAAP earnings per share were up 5% to $0.56, while non-GAAP earnings per share were up 7% to $0.69. GAAP operating cash flow on a trailing twelve-month basis was $15.2 billion.

"Our hardware business, including support, grew 2% in constant currency this quarter driven by double-digit revenue growth in Exadata, Exalogic and Exalytics," said Oracle President Mark Hurd. "The SPARC SuperCluster and Big Data Appliance were even better, with triple-digit growth and we expect hardware products will show growth next quarter."

Exadata X4 Updates, with Juan Loaiza, SVP, Senior Vice President, Oracle Systems Technology
What's New Webcast - On Demand
Oracle releases Exadata hardware and software updates to increase performance, enhance availability and expand manageability of the best platform for running the Oracle database. Exadata enhancements make it even better for companies looking to improve business agility, save IT costs, and add real-time performance for consolidation and Database as a Service.

Watch the What's New Webcast with Juan Loaiza, Senior Vice President, Oracle Systems Technology.

Oracle Exalogic Elastic Cloud X4-2
Helps Customers Achieve Greater Levels of Data Center Consolidation and Efficiency
Oracle Exalogic Elastic Cloud X4-2 further advances Oracle's leadership in delivering Engineered Systems for running custom and packaged applications with superior performance, while reducing data center cost and complexity.

Compared to the previous release, Oracle Exalogic X4-2 provides higher throughput and coupled with Oracle Exabus technology, delivers near native response times for virtualized applications, resulting in greater consolidation benefits.

Oracle Exalogic Elastic Cloud X4-2 hardware, powered by Intel® Xeon® processors, provides 50% more cores per node, large amounts of memory and significantly increased flash and disk storage capacity. In addition, the latest release of Oracle Exalogic Elastic Cloud Software provides the ability to combine different application architectures (bare metal, virtualized and infrastructure as a service) on a single rack and allows customers to leverage virtualization templates and assemblies through Oracle VM Templates and Oracle Virtual Assembly Builder.

Oracle VM VirtualBox 4.3.6
Maintenance release
VirtualBox is a powerful x86 and AMD64/Intel64 virtualization product for enterprise as well as home use. Not only is VirtualBox an extremely feature rich, high performance product for enterprise customers, it is also the only professional solution that is freely available as Open Source Software under the terms of the GNU General Public License (GPL) version 2.

Presently, VirtualBox runs on Windows, Linux, Macintosh, and Solaris hosts and supports a large number of guest operating systems including but not limited to Windows (NT 4.0, 2000, XP, Server 2003, Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8), DOS/Windows 3.x, Linux (2.4, 2.6 and 3.x), Solaris and OpenSolaris, OS/2, and OpenBSD.

A new maintenance release, VirtualBox 4.3.6, is now available.

IT - Storage
Why Storage Needs Quality Of Service
The Register, December 16th, 2013
"Storage consolidation looks great on paper. Direct-attached storage is notorious for its inefficiency, with some arrays being just 40 per cent occupied or even less.

Providing an Oracle database with 10,000 IOPS could mean aggregating dozens of 15,000 RPM drives, and unless the database is several terabytes in size that is a lot of wasted space.

The alternative is shared storage, probably with virtualisation and thin provisioning to allocate physical disk capacity more efficiently, and perhaps with a Flash tier or cache to boost performance.

As well as reducing wastage, shared storage can also bring other advantages, not least a reduction in the number of points of management.

But what happens if one of your clients or applications doesn't play well with its fellows - if it is badly behaved and greedy and doesn't realise that in shared storage 'shared' is the operative word?..."

IT - Technology
Computers with Brain-Like Intelligence are Getting Closer to Reality
ComputerWorld, December 17th, 2013
"For decades, scientists have fantasized about creating robots with brain-like intelligence. This year, researchers tempted by that dream made great progress on achieving what has been called the holy grail of computing.

Today, a wide variety of efforts are aimed at creating intelligent computers that can progressively learn and make smarter decisions. Millions of dollars this year were poured in efforts to create 'silicon brains,' or neuromorphic chips that mimic brain-like functionality to make computers smarter.

The new chips could give eyes and ears to smart robots..."

    8 Products You Should Not Rush to Upgrade
    Network World, December 17th, 2013
    "The computer and technology sector has grown very large and very rich on the perpetual upgrade cycle and planned obsolescence. While the home theater market can only look on in envy, computer enthusiasts upgrade their gear annually.

    Overall, it's safe to say equipment does make quantum leaps - who would still want to use a 2000-era PC? But some advance faster than others, and in a few cases, they have plateaued and aren't worth replacing until the product itself breaks.

    None of this is absolute. With each item listed, there is a caveat. I make qualifying comments with most of these entries. With that, let's run down the list..."

      10 Things You Don't Need to Worry About in 2014
      InfoWorld, December 19th, 2013
      "The observant among you will remember that, last year, I posted an article about the things you didn't need to worry about this year. Well, I'm doing it again. This is what is known as a 'tradition,' so here's the second installment. Read and weep over what won't be worth considering next year..."

      • IBM's cloud play
      • Your developer job
      • MongoDB fading away
      • Hadoop being only a fad
      • Dell
      • Microsoft Office going away
      • BlackBerry existing
      • Hollywood's and the recording industry's rights
      • The supply of cheap tablets
      • Google Glass

      Read on for details.

      Biologically Inspired: How Neural Nets are Finally Maturing
      ComputerWorld, December 18th, 2013
      "Loosely modeled on the human brain, artificial neural networks are finally finding use in industry

      More than two decades ago, neural networks were widely seen as the next generation of computing, one that would finally allow computers to think for themselves.

      Micron's prototype Automata memory module, with a built in processor, could be a building for tomorrow's advanced neural networks.

      Now, the ideas around the technology, loosely based on the biological knowledge of how the mammalian brain learns, are finally starting to seep into mainstream computing, thanks to improvements in hardware and refinements in software models..."

        Game-Changing IT Trends: A Five-Year Outlook (Part I)
        Business 2 Community, December 18th, 2013
        "No matter what industry you're in, your company can't survive without technology. From smart phones and tablets to mobile apps and cloud-based technology, there's a plethora of technological advancements to not only keep track of, but also to profit from.

        To stay competitive, your organization needs to anticipate the most significant technology trends that are shaping your business and changing your customer, and then develop innovative ways to use them to your advantage, both inside and outside of your organization. Remember, if it can be done, it will be done. If you don't use these technologies to create a competitive advantage, someone else will..."

          IT - Bitcoin
          Into the Bitcoin Mines
          New York Times, December 21th, 2013
          "On the flat lava plain of Reykjanesbaer, Iceland, near the Arctic Circle, you can find the mines of Bitcoin.

          To get there, you pass through a fortified gate and enter a featureless yellow building. After checking in with a guard behind bulletproof glass, you face four more security checkpoints, including a so-called man trap that allows passage only after the door behind you has shut. This brings you to the center of the operation, a fluorescent-lit room with more than 100 whirring silver computers, each in a locked cabinet and each cooled by blasts of Arctic air shot up from vents in the floor.

          These computers are the laborers of the virtual mines where Bitcoins are unearthed. Instead of swinging pickaxes, these custom-built machines, which are running an open-source Bitcoin program, perform complex algorithms 24 hours a day. If they come up with the right answers before competitors around the world do, they win a block of 25 new Bitcoins from the virtual currency's decentralized network..."

          D.C. businesses starting to accept Bitcoin
          Washington Post, December 18th, 2013
          "In May, brothers Guiseppe and Mario Lanzone started a Peruvian food business in Washington, hoping to cash in on the District's enchantment with food trucks.

          Today, the two are betting on another trend: a virtual currency called Bitcoin. The Lanzones decided a few weeks ago they would accept bitcoins, announcing the change in a tweet to their 800 followers. Although there are estimated to be tens of thousands of Bitcoin users worldwide, the currency hasn't quite caught on in the District. Peruvian Brothers is one of just a few Washington area businesses to accept Bitcoin payments..."

          Get Ready Overstock, Here Come The Bitcoin Bean Counters
          Forbes, December 22nd, 2013
          " just turned heads with the news that it will start accepting Bitcoin next year. The first major online retailer to take this step, Overstock's decision is huge for Bitcoin as other retailers are expected to follow suit. (Not to mention it is a most welcome and timely change of conversation after the pounding the currency took at the hands of the Chinese last week).

          So retailers are now on alert - Bitcoin is probably in their future, either because consumers will start demanding to pay in the currency or because it is cost effective, as Overstook CEO Patrick Byrne says, according to Coindesk..."

          BTC China CEO Attempts To Calm The Bitcoin Market After RMB Deposit Shutdown
          Techcrunch, December 20th, 2013
          "In a letter posted on the Chinese bitcoin trading site BTC China CEO Bobby Lee attempted to calm the markets by posting a long, detailed description of the way forward for the company.

          'As China's first Bitcoin and Bitcoin trading platform company, we have more than two and half years of operating experience and a good reputation,' he wrote. 'I believe you love Bitcoin and will fully understand our decision.'

          Lee also clarified that the ban on RMB deposits is temporary and that the People's Bank Of China saw bitcoin markets as similar to any commodity market and that 'ordinary people have the freedom to participate in them at their own risk.' He also announced a number of improvements and changes to the platform aimed at retaining customers..."

          Who Owns the World's Biggest Bitcoin Wallet? The FBI
          Wired, December 18th, 2013
          "Who owns the single largest Bitcoin wallet on the internet? The U.S. government.

          In September, the FBI shut down the Silk Road online drug marketplace, and it started seizing bitcoins belonging to the Dread Pirate Roberts - the operator of the illicit online marketplace, who they say is an American man named Ross Ulbricht.

          The seizure sparked an ongoing public discussion about the future of Bitcoin, the world's most popular digital currency, but it had an unforeseen side-effect: It made the FBI the holder of the world's biggest Bitcoin wallet.

          The FBI now controls more than 144,000 bitcoins that reside at a bitcoin address that consolidates much of the seized Silk Road bitcoins..."

          MySQL Notifier 1.1.5
          Enables developers and DBAs to easily monitor, start and stop all their MySQL database instances
          Javier Treviño write, "The MySQL Windows Experience Team is proud to announce the release of MySQL Notifier version 1.1.5, the latest addition to the MySQL Installer for Windows.

          MySQL Notifier . It provides a familiar Microsoft SQL Server look and feel and integrates with MySQL Workbench.

          MySQL Notifier is installed using the MySQL Installer for Windows...

          MySQL Notifier 1.1.5 introduces the following features:

          • The MySQL Utilities can now be opened from MySQL Notifier if installed separately from MySQL Workbench (it is no longer bundled with MySQL Workbench 6.x).

          • Added Workbench connections edition capability right from the Monitor MySQL Server Instance window of the MySQL Notifier (accessed through Actions > Manage Monitored Items… > Add… > MySQL Instance). Any of the listed MySQL Workbench connections can be right-clicked and a new “Edit Connection” context menu is available for users to edit the Workbench connection properties.

          • Changed the way the Workbench connections and servers files are monitored, now the Notifier detects automatically when Workbench is installed or uninstalled and starts or stops monitoring its files on those events so MySQL Notifier does not need to be restarted to setup the monitoring of the files.

          You can download MySQL Installer from the official Downloads page.

          Cloud Computing
          Debunking Myths at Cloud Expo 2013
          Video of Presentation by Rex Wang, VP of Product Marketing
          Mala Ramakrishnan writes, "Public cloud seems to be filled with specialized vendors who want to gain on solving common problems really well, which has created a whole new integration challenge for consumers who want to capitalize on the best-of-breed offerings across different public clouds while still continuing to host on-premise and even leveraging private cloud in addition. And though it seemed that cloud would be omnipresent with everything going the way of utilities such as electricity and water, where people don't want to know the source and just leverage the resource, we are not quite there with it.

          Rex Wang, VP of Product Marketing at Oracle who leads the Cloud marketing initiative put forth an excellent presentation that debunked a lot of myths surrounding cloud that helped enhance understanding of the trends in the space. You can watch the video here: Ten Myths of Cloud Computing.

          You can also read more on his presentation and access it here.

          Oracle Linux Friday Spotlight
          By Chris Kawalek
          Chris writes, "Our spotlight this week is on our excellent new screencast series, covering a variety of topics on Oracle Linux:

          • Managing Your Oracle Linux Environment
          • Oracle Linux: Maximize Performance, Minimize Downtime
          • Oracle Linux - Reliability, Availability, and Scalability

          The Friday Spotlight series will restart in 2014."

          IT - Cloud
          5 Tips to Keep Your Data Secure on the Cloud
          CIO, December 16th, 2013
          "The number of personal cloud users increases every year and is not about to slow down. Back in 2012 Gartner predicted the complete shift from offline PC work to mostly on-cloud by 2014. And it's happening.

          Today, we rarely choose to send a bunch of photos by email, we no longer use USB flash drives to carry docs. The cloud has become a place where everyone meets and exchanges information. Moreover, it has become a place where data is being kept permanently..."

          Why we are moving to a cloud-centric organization
          GIGAOM, December 19th, 2013
          "There seems to be a need to recast IT organizations in the shadow of cloud computing. This need comes from existing organizations that deploy cloud-based platforms, and quickly find out that the organization is not setup to take full advantage of emerging cloud-based platforms.

          So, what's changed? The way we consume platform, infrastructure, and application services, for a start. In a traditional IT organization, there is a larger focus on operations and traditional development approaches than when public cloud platforms are around to provide these services on demand.

          Specifically, IT has a few new things to deal with, including:..."

          3 Surefire Ways to Screw Up a Cloud Deployment
          InfoWorld, December 16th, 2013
          "There are cloud projects that tank, and those that fail on to an epic degree. The causes can usually be traced back to simple issues that are easily corrected. Unfortunately, cloud success stories are not as common as they should be. To help change that balance, address these cloud issues to increase your odds of success..."

          • Don't select the wrong applications.
          • Avoid the single-provider shuffle
          • Ask the question of or know the answer to "What's cloud governance?"

          Read on for details.

            10 Cloud Computing Predictions for 2014
            CIO, December 17th, 2013
            "It's the time of year when darkness comes early and people begin to sum up how this year has gone and next year will unfold. It's also the time of year that predictions about developments in the technology industry over the next 12 months are in fashion. I've published cloud computing predictions over the past several years, and they are always among the most popular pieces I write.

            Looking back on my predictions, I'm struck not so much by any specific prediction or even the general accuracy (or inaccuracy) of the predictions as a whole. What really comes into focus is how the very topic of cloud computing has been transformed..."

            Steps to Take Back Control from Shadow IT
            Business 2 Community, December 16th, 2013
            "Cloud technology has been touted as the next big frontier for business data management and is already generating powerful tremors of change in the business landscape as nearly 70% of all major companies across the world are now using cloud services and many others are looking to transition to cloud-based ERP and CRM.

            Unfortunately, the boon of ultra-efficient cloud data management is also accompanied by the bane of shadow IT. Shadow IT is essentially any hardware or software that has not been officially authorized for access by the central IT department of a company. With the influx of cloud computing and BYOD policies, the sphere of influence of shadow IT has considerably expanded..."

            The Worst Cloud Outages of 2013 (Part 2)
            Network World, December 19th, 2013
            "Like any technology, cloud services aren't perfect. When a cloud service stumbles, though, the whole world notices.

            We saw plenty of high-profile cloud outages in the first half of 2013 -- and the last half of the year has been no different. From a 5-minute failure that cost half a million dollars to a week-long disruption that cost an immeasurable amount of brand damage, some of technology's biggest players have been playing defense with both their servers and their public images.

            Here are the worst mishaps from the second half of the year..."

              IT - CxO
              How to Truly Be an Effective Interviewer
              TLNT, December 16th, 2013
              "If you want to get better at golf, you need to practice.

              You can't just go to the course, play one round, wait six months to play again and hope to be any better. To improve your game, you need to practice, play, and perhaps even get a coach.

              The same is true when it comes to interviewing job applicants..."

                The IT Vendor Paradox
                CIO, December 17th, 2013
                "I've been thinking a lot lately about 'the vendor problem' in IT and how every time I want to elicit a grimace from a room full of CIOs, I just have to say the word, 'Consultant.'

                In fact, I was talking recently with Margot Sharapova, CIO of the Americas at AECOM, the $8B professional technical and management services company, and she brought up 'the vendor paradox.' She wondered why I haven't spent more time on it.

                'But what is the vendor paradox?' I asked her. Her response was so rich, that I had to write it as a blog..."

                The Missing Link That Ties IT to the C-Suite
                CFO, December December 13th, 2013
                "The first order of business for new CIOs is to restructure IT so that it better aligns with the business. Key to this restructuring are the 'business relationship executives' - persons well-versed in a business domain or market segment but also capable of building a business case for a new IT investment.

                Business relationship executives can hold their own with business leaders but they are also knowledgeable about IT (and the processes of delivering IT). They can work across the architecture, infrastructure, application development and project management offices, ensuring those units deliver on their promises. Finally, they are are highly strategic and help shape IT demand with business leaders in their companies...:"

                CIOs Can't Ignore the Workplace Value of Vacations
                CIO Insight, December 16th, 2013
                "Be honest: Do you ever track the amount of vacation time that your employees take? Or is that something best left to HR while you tend to the core, tech-focused functions of your role? While opting for the latter approach is entirely understandable, you must maintain some visibility into whether your IT team members are not taking vacation time. Because if this type of culture emerges as the norm for your department, the fallout could create a decline in productivity, morale and even wellness, according to a recent survey from the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).

                The resulting report, titled "Vacation Benefits and Their Impact on the Workplace," reveals just how frequently professionals fail to take needed time away, while offering best practices for CIOs and other managers to discourage these anti-vacation decisions. The key takeaway: You must convince all of your staffers that taking vacations ultimately contributes to organizational goals, as opposed to distracting from them..."

                The Secret Recipe That Makes People Stay With Their Job
                TLNT, December 1th, 2013
                "I recently wrote a post explaining why perks aren't sufficient for employee engagement and long-term retention, and it got me thinking - what is sufficient? What really causes an employee to be engaged and dedicate many years of service to an organization?

                As I was finishing up grad school a few years ago and searching for that perfect post-MBA job, I interviewed with a wide variety of companies across the country.

                One of my favorite sets of questions for my interviewers was, 'How long have you been at your company?' followed up with, 'And why do you stay?'..."

                  IT - PM
                  Projects Suffer From Lack of Staffing, Resources
                  CIO Insight, December 19th, 2013
                  "While stripped-down staffing and an overall commitment to do more with less is nothing new, many workers are struggling to get anything of value completed on time, according to a recent survey from AtTask. They're too often assigned to tasks that don't contribute to organizational strategies, findings show, and then they're constantly interrupted or asked to shift gears in mid-stream. Meanwhile, a failure to fill vacancies and provide needed resources is also taking a toll..."

                  • Sidetracked Workers
                  • Juggling Multiple Tasks
                  • Not Clearly Defined
                  • Roll Call!
                  • Unnoticed, Underappreciated
                  • Too Many Interruptions
                  • A Lack of Tools
                  • Stretched Thin

                  Read on for details.

                    IT - Networks
                    Is IPv4-to-IPv6 the Least of Your Problems?
                    SearchNetworking, December 16th, 2013
                    "Technology transitions are not black-or-white, all-or-nothing. Never has that been clearer than in networking, where a number of complicated radical shifts are occurring simultaneously.

                    Network change is imminent. All at once we are moving from IPv4 to IPv6, building private and hybrid cloud networks and evaluating software-defined networking (SDN) or network virtualization.

                    Journalists and analysts tend to refer to technology transitions as one-time events, or changeovers that can be measured in short periods of time. Frankly, IT users would like nothing more than for these changes to be that clear cut. Unfortunately that's not the case..."

                    Ten SDN Blogs Worth Following
                    SearchSDN, December 16th, 2013
                    "In 2013, SDN went from concept to reality -- with a wide range of vendors launching products and users beginning to evaluate and implement test beds.

                    If there was one group of folks who had the most to say about the new technology, it was bloggers, who covered SDN, network virtualization and network functions virtualization through reviews, personal opinions, predictions and even a few tutorials. Check out our picks for the ten SDN blogs -- in no particular order -- that made a splash in 2013..."

                    Network Engineers Share Technology Wish List With Vendors for the New Year
                    SearchNetworking, December 13th, 2013
                    "With the holiday season upon us, SearchNetworking asked network engineers to tell us about their 2014 technology wish lists. Call it a letter to Santa Claus. Call it an airing of Festivus grievances. However you want to describe it, network engineers would like to see some changes in 2014. So stand up your Festivus pole and join us in exploring what network vendors need to do better in the year to come..."
                      Growth of Ipv6 Puts Pressure on Government to Support Next-Gen Internet
                      GCN, December 16th, 2013
                      "As U.S. carriers make strides adopting IPv6, pressure is mounting for federal agencies to support the next-generation Internet Protocol on their public-facing websites and cloud-based citizen and business service portals.

                      Federal agencies were supposed to upgrade their websites to support IPv6 by September 2012. However, the latest data from the National Institute of Standards and Technology indicates that less than half of federal domains have enabled IPv6 on their Web, DNS and mail servers..."

                      Optical Network (Photonic Network)
                      SearchNetworking, December 13th, 2013
                      "An optical (photonic) network is a communications network in which information is transmitted as optical or infrared radiation transmission (IR) signals.

                      In a true photonic network, every switch and every repeater works with IR or visible-light energy and conversion to and from electrical impulses is only done at the source and destination (origin and end point). Electric current propagates at about 10 percent of the speed of light (18,000 to 19,000 miles or 30,000 kilometers per second), while the energy in fiber optic systems travels at the speed of light..."

                        IT - Operations
                        The New Age of Outsourcing
                        CIO Insight, December 16th, 2013
                        "The biggest business driver of outsourcing has always been cost savings. And while cost continues to influence decision-making in the IT and business process outsourcing markets, increasing and expanding demands on IT organizations are compelling them to seek more from their service providers.

                        As mature enterprises enter into the next generation of outsourcing deals, they are embracing new - and sometimes risky - models to achieve more than the old-fashioned 'your mess for less value proposition...:

                        • The Rise of Managed Services
                        • Betting on Business Outcomes
                        • Turning the RFP on Its Head
                        • Commercialization to Fund Innovation
                        • The Increased Significance of Service Integration
                        • Re-examining the Big Picture

                        Read on for details.

                        An Approach to Test Metrics that Stands Up to Scrutiny
                        SearchSoftwareQuality, December 16th, 2012
                        "First, let me guess that by the tone of the question, you think that is a bad thing. So, let's start by reviewing the argument that tracking test cases is necessarily negative.

                        Michael Bolton, a consulting software tester based in Toronto, published a blog in 2012 titled Why pass vs. fail rates are unethical. The argument Bolton makes is that information revealed by passing vs. failing can be worse than no information at all: It can be misleading. One showstopper bug, just one, might stop shipping, while a dozen cosmetic errors might not. He puts it this way:..."

                          Get an Inside Look at a Secure Data Center
                          TechRepublic, December 16th, 2013
                          "A friend of mine is a system administrator for an East Coast company with a secondary (DR) data center at a colocation in a western state. We chatted recently about some of the features of his secondary data center, which is dedicated to maintaining security and uptime for its clients. With his insights fresh in mind (and with his permission), I thought it might be interesting to outline the processes used by the hosting organization -- which I'll leave nameless for confidentiality purposes -- by discussing what you might expect to encounter were you to visit it..."
                          Strange and Secure Data Center Locations
                          SearchDataCenter, December 16th, 2013
                          "You'd expect to find underground lairs and oceanic hideouts in a comic strip rather than in data center pictures, but sites around the world are proving that unconventional data center locations can solve conventional problems, such as protecting sensitive data.

                          These unusual sites all offer data center physical security unparalleled by conventional real estate. Our tour of locations starts with a look at floating data centers, including the potential in a Google barge and the growing need for compute out on the open seas. From out on the water to down under the earth, we dig around in two former mines that have become underground data center locations..."

                          IT - Security
                          Addressing advanced malware in 2014
                          ESG, December 16th, 2013
                          "In the cybersecurity annals of the future, 2013 may be remembered as the year of advanced malware. Yes, I know that malware is nothing new and the term 'advanced' is more hype than reality as a lot of attacks have involved little more than social engineering and off-the-shelf exploits. That said, I think it's safe to say that this is the year that the world really woke up to malware dangers (advanced or not) and is finally willing to address this risk.

                          So how will enterprise organizations (i.e., more than 1,000 employees) change their security strategies over the next year to mitigate the risks associated with advanced malware threats? According to ESG research:..."

                          Easy-to-Remember, Difficult-to-Crack Passwords Via Visual Cues
                          Help Net Security, December 13th, 2013
                          "A group of researchers from Carnegie Mellon University's School of Computer Science believe they might have solved the problem of choosing and, above all, remembering complex and diverse passwords that are simultaneously difficult to crack by attackers.

                          The researchers have developed Shared Cues, a password management scheme that takes advantage of human memory's tendency towards association and introduces mnemonic techniques to trigger it..."

                          Why security remains a priority and a concern
                          GIGAOM, December 19th, 2013
                          "There's a reason security consistently appears on IT buyers' lists of priorities and concerns. We looked last week at some of the biggest cloud and IT disasters of 2013, and this week weighed in on the worst security SNAFUS of 2013.

                          Now comes news, first reported by Krebs on Security, of what is believed to be a massive data theft that may have spanned the majority of Target stores from Black Friday through December 15th. The breach was executed by software placed on credit card authorization terminals within the stores and is being investigated by the Secret Service..."

                          Enterprise Organizations Identify Incident Detection Weaknesses
                          ESG, December 16th, 2013
                          "In the past, many large organizations spent about 70% of their security budgets on prevention and the remaining 30% on incident detection and response. Prevention is still important but given the insidious threat landscape, enterprises must assume that they will be breached. This means that they need the right processes, skills, and security analytics to detect and respond to security incidents effectively, efficiently, and in a timely manner.

                          Which areas of incident detection/response need the most attention? In a recent research project, ESG asked 315 security professionals working at enterprise organizations (i.e. more than 1,000 employees) to identify incident detection/response areas where their organizations are particularly weak. Here's a synopsis of the ESG research along with my editorial comments:..."

                          Addressing Advanced Malware in 2014
                          Network World, December 16th, 2013
                          "In the cybersecurity annals of the future, 2013 may be remembered as the year of advanced malware. Yes, I know that malware is nothing new and the term 'advanced' is more hype than reality as a lot of attacks have involved little more than social engineering and off-the-shelf exploits. That said, I think it's safe to say that this is the year that the world really woke up to malware dangers (advanced or not) and is finally willing to address this risk.

                          So how will enterprise organizations (i.e. more than 1,000 employees) change their security strategies over the next year to mitigate the risks associated with advanced malware threats? According to ESG research:..."

                          FTC Wants to be Enforcer of Data Security
                          IT World, December 16th, 2013
                          "Despite growing pushback from companies and powerful industry groups, the Federal Trade Commission continues to insist that it wants to be the nation's enforcer of data security standards.

                          The FTC, over the past years, has gone after companies that have suffered data breaches, citing the authority granted to it under a section of the FTC Act that prohibits 'unfair' and 'deceptive' trade practices. The FTC extracted stiff penalties from some companies by arguing that their failure to properly protect customer data represented an unfair and deceptive trade practice..."

                          How Human Behavior Affects Malware and Defense Measures
                          Help Net Security, December 17th, 2013
                          "Installing computer security software, updating applications regularly and making sure not to open emails from unknown senders are just a few examples of ways to reduce the risk of infection by malicious software. However, even the most security-conscious users are open to attack through unknown vulnerabilities, and even the best security mechanisms can be circumvented as a result of poor user choices..."
                          Lessons for CSOs in Snowden Exploit of NSA Networks
                          CSO Online, December 16th, 2013
                          "How Edward Snowden roamed the National Security Agency network, stealing documents that would later be released to select media, raises a number of red flags chief security officers should pay attention to, experts say.

                          While working as an NSA contractor, Snowden used the passwords of other employees and hacked firewalls to enter classified computer systems, The New York Times reported over the weekend..."

                          The Worst Security Snafus of 2013
                          Network World, December 17th, 2013
                          "This year's award for 'Biggest Security SNAFU' can only go to the National Security Agency. Since June, NSA officials have winced as former NSA contractor Edward Snowden began dispensing secrets to the media about how NSA carries out massive surveillance around the world using advanced technology.

                          The NSA wasn't using enough security technology internally to even begin to stop Snowden from roaming through its super-secret networks to fish out what's now believed to be many thousands of sensitive documents related not only to NSA's massive data collection practices across the Internet but also traditional spy vs. spy operations, much of which has not yet gone public..."

                          IT - Careers
                          10 Signs You're Probably a Techie
                          IT World, December 16th, 2013
                          "Do you have a MacBook running virtualized Windows? Is the Star Trek vs. Star Wars debate not even a debate to you? If so, you might be a "techie" (more on that word later). In Silicon Valley, they're everywhere and easy enough to spot. At, we've covered the most techie of tech people for decades and have come up with 10 signs that you're among their ranks..."

                          • You're Probably a Guy
                          • You Don't Want to Be Called a 'Techie'
                          • Star Trek vs. Star Wars Debate Is a Joke to You
                          • Stupid User-Zombie Invasion Annoys You
                          • You Own (or Built) a Tricked-Out Computer
                          • You Ogle Google Glass
                          • You Know That PCs Got Game
                          • You DVR 'The Big Bang Theory
                          • You Know Samsung Galaxyo vs. Apple iPhone Is No Contest
                          • You Live a Secret Life (Sort of)

                          Read on for details.

                          Managing Your Career Before the Ambush Comes
                          TLNT, December 16th, 2013
                          'I worked all those years, coming to work every day, doing a great job. Each year there was a raise and eventually more responsibility.

                          I went home at the end of the day and came back the following day. I repeated that cycle all those years until one day, I came in and was let go.

                          During all those years I had received numerous inquiries from outside headhunters, but at each call was kindly rebuffed because I loved what I was doing. My resume had never been updated in all those years, and I had not interviewed in 24 years...'

                          "As I listened to this call this week, I felt sad and angry at the same time..."

                            Bosses Have Difficulty Saying 'I Am Sorry'
                            CIO Insight, December 17th, 2013
                            "As the classic Elton John song put it, " 'Sorry' seems to be the hardest word..." At least that appears to be the case in the workplace as CIOs and other bosses are frequently reluctant to offer an honest, direct apology, according to a recent leadership survey released by The Forum Corporation. Managers find all kinds of excuses to avoid admitting their failings. Or they fall into the trappings of arrogance and dismiss such a gesture as something that bosses don't have to do. But that is a mistake because you'll risk losing the trust that you've established with your employees..."
                              2013: The Year in Numbers
                              IT World, December 13th, 2013
                              "From single digits to trillions, the tech industry loves numbers, and it generated plenty of them in 2013. Here's a look at some of the figures that stand out from the year:

                              3 - number of Emmy TV awards won by Netflix in 2013. "House of Cards" won for best director, marking the first major Emmy win for Internet content. The show also won awards for best casting and best cinematography for a single-camera series...."

                              The Weirdest, Wackiest and Coolest Sci/Tech Stories of 2013
                              Network World, December 16th, 2013
                              "It's always a tall order to decide which high-tech stories are the wackiest or coolest of the year but we aren't shy about trying. This year we find all manner of interesting items from NASA's Voyager 1 spacecraft leaving our solar system and Microsoft developing sensory bra technology to a Verizon employee being locked underground and a man being arrested for stealing 5 cents worth of electricity.

                              Here we go!..."

                              Top 10 IT Resume Tips of 2013
                              CIO, December 16th, 2013
                              "It's been another productive year for CIO's Resume Makeover series. You learned how to target your resume to better highlight your skills, cut out unnecessary descriptions, and list your work history and technical prowess in fewer than three pages... We've compiled a list of the top 10 best pieces of advice from our 2013 series here..."

                              • Take a Cue From Advertising
                              • Don't Forget LinkedIn
                              • Highlight What Makes You Different
                              • Always Be Prepared
                              • Make Your Messaging Clear
                              • Don't Try to 'Teach Them All'
                              • Ace the 20 Second Test
                              • Don't Be Wordy
                              • Keep It Short
                              • Consider Getting Professional Help

                              Read on for details.

                              IT - Virtualization
                              4 Ways Network Virtualization Improves Security
                              InfoWorld, December 18th, 2013
                              "Virtualization has brought IT many gifts. It has made the impossible not just possible, but common. From server consolidation to the cloud, virtualization is now the dominant computing platform worldwide.

                              Beyond expanding computing capabilities, virtualization can also be considered a method to increase network security. Rod Stuhlmuller, Director of Product Marketing in the Networking & Security Business Unit at VMware, takes us through four ways that security can be improved through network virtualization..."

                              IT - Big Data
                              One-Third IT Decision Makers Have No Big Data Plans
                    , December 16th, 2013
                              "EMC Corporation released the findings of its global survey that asked thousands of IT decision makers from 50 countries for their perspective on the challenges and opportunities that big data and IT transformation - and related skills - can present to their companies.

                              Over the last six months this research polled more than 10,700 business and IT management and executives, technical architects, data scientists and storage/infrastructure managers from a range of industries who registered to attend their local EMC Forums.

                              Highlighted below are examples of countries and topics for which a strong divergence of views were revealed..."

                              4 Trends That Will Shape Big Data Use in 2014
                              Big Data Republic, December 10th, 2013
                              An Ovum analyst has peered toward 2014 and predicts that both big data and fast data are set to transition from the early-adopter phase to maturity.

                              According to Tony Baer, principal analyst of software-enterprise solutions for the market research firm, and lead author of Ovum's "Big Data 2014 Trends to Watch" report, big data trends in 2014 will include:..."

                              9 Analytics Predictions for 2014
                              Information Management, December 16th, 2013
                              "As analytics continue to grow in importance and impact within businesses, successful organizations must balance speed, automation and human involvement as they implement analytics solutions into their business processes, according to the International Institute for Analytics (IIA).

                              IIA, an independent research firm focused on guiding companies in the use of analytics, recently issued nine analytics predictions for 2014. For the third year, a panel of IIA faculty and leaders reviewed an extensive list of trends and identified the ones most likely to come into prominence in the analytics industry in the coming year. The nine predictions for 2014 are:"

                              Data: Make It Understandable to the Non-Expert
                              Big Data Republic, December 11th, 2013
                              "It goes without saying that those who work with data are dealing with an amazing asset. However, although insight is quantifiable it isn't something that you can engage with in a tactile way. Even though data translates into practicable insight that deals with human behaviour, its nebulous nature could possibly lead to a level of disassociation for the uninitiated. So how can a collection of numbers translate into insight that both has value for a business and is understandable?..."
                                How Mature Are Your Big Data Practices, Anyway?
                                TDWI, December 16th, 2013
                                "With its new Big Data Maturity Model, TDWI serves up an online tool organizations can use to gauge the progress of their big data practices.

                                When it comes to big data, how does your organization stack up? Where do you excel? What do you need to improve? Are there any areas that you've overlooked? More pointedly, how do you know if you're doing it right?..."

                                Who is the Data Scientist?
                                Information Management, December 16th, 2013
                                "Data scientists have been called the sexiest new job in business intelligence. They are the stuff of dozens of articles, infographics and, on occasion, the beneficiary of a zinger or two about ponytails and hoodies.

                                In a dueling keynote at SPARK! Austin, Dr. Robin Bloor put on a pair of thick-rimmed glasses and morphed into a data scientist in front of my eyes. At Teradata PARTNERS in October, Neil Raden called them new versions of old quants. They've been firmly denied any of Jill Dyche's affections according to her blog post 'Why I Won't Sleep with a Data Scientist.' And, my personal favorite: industry writer Stephen Swoyer called them unicorns - fantastical silver-blooded beasts and impossible to catch..."

                                  IT - Mobile
                                  Why Enterprise Strategies Must Drive Mobility
                                  CIO Insight, December 20th, 2013
                                  "The mobile revolution is now arguably in its third decade (if one counts the 2G network first launched in Finland in 1991 as comprising the starting point.) Since then, a dizzying blitz of innovative changes have shaped what we now know as the mobile age, advancing app performance, cloud adoption and other tech initiatives. And with bring your own device (BYOD) acceptance only getting stronger, it's critical for organizations to incorporate enterprisewide thinking in terms of their mobile strategies, according to a recent survey from CA Technologies.

                                  That's because piecemealed, siloed efforts will only inspire confusion and frustration as concerns mount over security and privacy, multiple platform support, budget constraints, and a lack of appropriately skilled personnel..."

                                  Avoid the Security Nightmare before Christmas: How to Keep Corporate Devices & Data Safe
                                  Business 2 Community, December 17th, 2013
                                  "As much as we prepare for the hustle and bustle of Christmas, it inevitably ends up descending into a mad rush. Such is the current landscape that we increasingly rely on the support of our smartphone to direct through it all. It allows us to make last-minute festive purchases online and on-the-move, helps us to navigate around the crowds to the work Christmas party and enables us to quickly check emails whilst trawling the stores for Christmas presents. However, the proliferation of the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) trend means that many of us are supporting our personal digital activity with a device that is laden with a mix of both personal and corporate data. Should it go missing amidst the festive commotion it can leave a business vulnerable to data attacks and cybercrime threats..."
                                  How to Create One-Button Automatic "Apps" on Your Android
                                  IT World, December 16th, 2013
                                  "The coworking space I co-founded has a nifty lock that you can open with a text message. To explain exactly how it works would divulge a bit too much, and take far more space than I really have here today. But suffice to say: you text a certain number from your own certain number, with a certain phrase, and then the door clicks open for a few seconds..."
                                    Smart Devices get Smarter, But Still Lack Security
                                    CSO Online, December 16th, 2013
                                    "As you shop for that new 'smart' refrigerator that can do everything including figuring out when you're low on milk, perhaps you should also think about the risk of some mischievous hacker taking control of it and having 5,000 gallons of milk delivered to your door.

                                    Unlikely, yes, but possible. And that's just inconvenient. What about a hacker who unlocks your doors while you're away?..."

                                      Why IT Should Ban Google Glass Before It's too Late
                                      CIO, December 17th, 2013
                                      "Google's soon-to-be-publicly-available wearable technology exposes your company to problems ranging from illegal wiretapping and surveillance to a wild spectrum of inappropriate uses. Columnist Rob Enderle writes that you should do yourself a favor and ban Google Glass before it is even available to your employees..."
                                      Top Ten Articles for last few Issues
                                      Vol 190 Issues 1 and 2; Vol 189 Issues 1, 2, 3 and 4; Vol 188 Issues 4 and 5
                                      We track how frequently each article is viewed on the web site to determine which the readers consider the most important. For last week, the top 10 articles were:

                                      • Oracle Exadata Database Machine X4
                                      • Flash Options for SPARC Servers
                                      • Oracle SuperCluster M6-32 - Most Powerful Oracle Engineered System
                                      • Oracle Sponsors OpenStack Foundation
                                      • Closing the closed APIs
                                      • Oracle DW-Big Data Monthly Roundup Magazine
                                      • IaaS with Oracle VM and Oracle Enterprise Manager
                                      • Top Database Security Trends in 2014
                                      • Oracle SQL Developer 4.0 Enhances Support for Oracle Database 12c
                                      • Apples and Oranges -- Highlights of Eclipse, IntelliJ IDEA, and NetBeans

                                      The longer version of this article has list of top ten articles for the last 8 weeks.

                                        IT - Server
                                        eWEEK 30: Unix Proves Staying Power as Enterprise Computing Platform
                                        eWeek, November 22nd, 2013
                                        "eWEEK 30: Unix remains a major server platform in enterprises and on the Internet three decades after PC Week started covering the computer industry.

                                        Back in 1984 during the early days of PC Week, Unix was not a new operating system, but it was an operating system that was just beginning to take root in the mainstream of enterprise computing. Unix was first developed in 1969 at AT&T's Bell Labs. But it was during the mid-1980s when its commercial roots were first planted and IBM, Hewlett-Packard and Sun Microsystems began to sell Unix to customers..."

                                        The Genius Of Linux Is Community, Not Technology
                                        readwrite, December 19th, 2013
                                        "2013 was the year of Linux in everything. Linux Foundation executive director Jim Zemlin declared that Linux's ubiquity has reached every corner of computing. 'From smartphones, tablets, consumer appliances and cars, to the open cloud and high-performance computers, to gaming platforms and more, Linux was, and is, literally everywhere,' Zemlin said.

                                        How did Linux spread to every corner of the world of technology? After all, Linux never truly realized its initial promise as an old-school desktop operating system destined to take down Microsoft and Windows. Kernels and code are only part of the story. The omnipresence of Linux comes down to it's far-ranging ability to inspire and unite a community, rather than to superior technology..."

                                        LibreOffice 4.1.4
                                        Fourth minor release of the LibreOffice 4.1 family
                                        The Document Foundation (TDF) announced LibreOffice 4.1.4, for Windows, MacOS X and Linux, the fourth minor release of the LibreOffice 4.1 family and the first also suggested for corporate deployments (with professional support from certified developers).

                                        LibreOffice is backed by a growing ecosystem of independent companies providing value added services for migrations or enterprise deployments, either at global or local level.

                                        "When we launched the project, the growth of the ecosystem was a top priority. Today, the large number of migrations to LibreOffice - backed by professional support - show that we were right", affirms Thorsten Behrens, TDF Deputy Chairman. "There is a bright future in front of us".

                                        LibreOffice 4.1.4 is available for download.

                                        Measuring Network Bandwidth Using iperf
                                        Quick check of performance of a network; compare the achieved bandwidth with expectation
                                        Giri Mandalika writes that, "iperf is a simple, open source tool to measure the network bandwidth. It can test TCP or UDP throughput. Tools like iperf are useful to check the performance of a network real quick, by comparing the achieved bandwidth with the expectation. The example in this blog post is from a Solaris system, but the instructions and testing methodology are applicable on all supported platforms including Linux.

                                        Download the source code from iperf's home page, and build the iperf binary. Those running Solaris 10 or later, can download the pre-built binary (file size: 245K) from this location to give it a quick try (right click and "Save Link As .." or similar option)..."

                                        Solaris 11 receives FIPS 140-2 certification
                                        For Oracle Solaris Kernel Cryptographic Framework
                                        Jim Laurent writes, "NIST has awarded FIPS 140-2 certificate #2060 to the Oracle Solaris Kernel Cryptographic Framework with SPARC T4 and SPARC T5 (Software-Hybrid), and FIPS 140-2 certificate #2061 for the Oracle Solaris Kernel Cryptographic Framework (Software) module. The certificates are not yet available, however, the details are already posted on the NIST Validated FIPS 140-2 Website. ... The Userland Software and Software-Hybrid validations are still in the NIST Coordination phase."
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