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Features
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Tech Time Warp of the Week: AT&T's Flight Information System, 1989
Video demo of "the future" as viewed by AT&T in 1989
Daniela Hernandez in "Wired", writes, "Fed up with online travel sites? Tired of searching countless services for flights that fit your schedule, budget, and personal preferences and then typing all your personal info into a seemingly endless collection of online forms so you can finally reserve your seats? Wish there were a better way?

Well, one day, there will be. Researchers have been working on it since at least the late '80s. That's when, inside the famed Bell Labs, AT&T built a system that acted as a kind of virtual travel assistant, letting you find and book flights using nothing but voice commands..."

See the video demo of "the future" as viewed by AT&T in 1989!

    Are You Ready to Manage 50x the Amount of Business Content?
    Asks Michael Snow

    Michael Snow writes, "The amount of information companies have to manage is expected to grow by 50x in the next decade. Yet already some 90 percent of documents, images, and other unstructured content is un-managed. So it is no surprise that 87 percent of organizations blame performance issues on information growth."

    "Many companies try to homebrew content management. This will work for a while, but at some point you reach critical mass. You can't find content. There is no versioning. You don't know who made changes," says Tom Turchioe, CTO, Critigen. "These are the things that drive you toward an enterprise-class solution such as Oracle WebCenter Content..."

    What is High Availability?
    Asks Todd Little
    "As companies become more and more dependent upon their information systems just to be able to function, the availability of those systems becomes more and more important. Outages can costs millions of dollars an hour in lost revenue, let alone potential damage done to a company's image. To add to the problem, a number of natural disasters have shown that even the best data center designs can't handle tsunamis and tidal waves, causing many companies to implement or re-evaluate their disaster recovery plans and systems. Practically every customer I talk to asks about disaster recovery (DR) and how to configure their systems to maximize availability and support DR. This series of articles will contain some of the information I share with these customers..."
    Exadata
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    Raiffeisen Informatik Center Steiermark Increases Database Performance 10x to 20x
    With Oracle Exadata for SAP NetWeaver Business Warehouse
    Raiffeisen Informatik Center Steiermark (RICS), known as Raiffeisen Rechenzentrum, is the IT service provider for Raiffeisen Banking Group in Austria. It supplies a complete range of IT services to Raiffeisen banks to support day-to-day operations. The company also serves a growing number of industrial customers and other midsize and large enterprises. In mid-2013, RICS opened Austria's most high-tech data center.

    The company began searching for a solution to significantly improve SAP BW performance. After extensive analysis and evaluation, RICS selected Oracle Exadata Database Machine. The company went live on Oracle Exadata Database Machine X3-2 in just eight weeks.

    RICS is very satisfied with its Oracle Exadata deployment. SAP BW performance is now 10x to 20x better than the legacy environment, depending on the report...

    Higher Colleges of Technology Completes End-of-Semester Processes 75% Faster with Database Transformation
    (HCT) is a system of 17 colleges across United Arab Emirates (UAE)
    The Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT) is a system of 17 colleges across United Arab Emirates (UAE). HCT is the largest public, higher-education institution in the UAE, with a full-time enrollment of about 18,000 students, and 2,000 staff. HCT prides itself in providing students with a technologically sophisticated, e-learning environment that encourages development of independent and life-long learning skills.

    HCT consolidated six end-of-life HP-UX servers, assorted storage devices, and all related licenses by deploying a quarter-rack Oracle Exadata Database Machine, four Oracle Exadata Storage Servers and Oracle Linux in just one month, increasing by 10x the batch process performance of a 2.5TB mission-critical database for college staff and students...

    Exadata Smart Flash Cache Features
    Hardware and Software Working in Harmony
    The Oracle Exadata Database Machine is engineered to be the highest performing and most available platform for running the Oracle Database. Exadata is a modern architecture featuring scale-out industry-standard database servers, scale-out intelligent storage servers, and an extremely high speed InfiniBand internal fabric that connects all servers and storage. Unique software algorithms in Exadata implement database intelligence in storage, PCI based flash, and InfiniBand networking to deliver higher performance and high capacity at lower costs than other platforms. Exadata runs all types of database workloads including Online Transaction Processing (OLTP), Data Warehousing (DW) and consolidation of mixed workloads. Simple and fast to implement, the Exadata Database Machine powers and protects your most important databases and is the ideal foundation for a consolidated database cloud.

    One of the key enablers of this is the Exadata Smart Flash Cache hardware and the intelligent Oracle Exadata Storage Server Software that drives it...

    Virtualization
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    Virtualization Management Podcast
    How Oracle VM and Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c can significantly improve your server lifecycle management
    Chris Kawalek writes, "welcome to the first virtualization spotlight of 2014! To kick things off this year, I wanted to highlight an excellent podcast by Oracle's Doan Nguyen and Ronen Kofman that describes how Oracle VM and Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c can significantly improve your server lifecycle management. Have a listen..."

    Listen to Simplify Virtualization Lifecycle Management with Oracle VM and Oracle Enterprise Manager (15:05)

    Java Technology
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    Top Java Stories of 2013
    Tori Wieldt's Selections
    Tori Wieldt writes, "2013 was a year of Java releases, good news, less good news, and a community that just keeps on truckin'..."

    • Release of Java EE 7
    • Java and the Internet of Things
    • JavaFX is Open Source
    • Java SE Update Releases
    • Oracle Ends Commercial Support of GlassFish
    • The Java Community Keeps On Truckin'
    • Java SE 8

    Read on for details...

    Using Java in Avionics and UAV Applications
    The choice to use Java for avionics software offers improved developer productivity
    Kelvin Nilsen writes in "Defense Tech Briefs, "Though developers of avionics software are among the most conservative in the software engineering community, and rightly so, Java is beginning to penetrate even this very specialized industry. The reasons are compelling. Java, designed in the 1990s, offers much better abstraction and stronger object-oriented encapsulation than C and C++. Rigorous enforcement of the type system reduces software engineering errors. Built-in syntactic and library features make multithreaded programming on multi-core processors straightforward. And the popularity of Java makes it easier to recruit Java developers, to license Java development tools, and to find and reuse off-the-shelf software components. Finally, the Java platform offers portability and scalability benefits that far exceed what has been achieved with more traditional legacy languages..."
    IT - Technology
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    10 Biggest Tech Disappointments of 2013
    Information Management, December 30th, 2013
    "To quote a long-dead English author, 'It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.' Indeed, 2013 had its share of good times and tech innovation. More companies invested in private and public cloud services and started using data analytics to improve bottom lines. Advancements in robotics got a boost as major players like Amazon and Google bought various robot companies (many call this progress, but it qualifies as a letdown if your job is replaceable by a robot)... This is about the worst of times. A tale of 10 losers, if you will. Disappointments. Letdowns. The tech products, companies, events, or trends that fell short of their potential -- or worse, scared or frustrated us..."
    2013 Tech News Quiz
    Network World, December 17th, 2013
    "It's been a wild year in technology. From the controversial revelations of former NSA consultant Edward Snowden to the announcement that Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer will retire, the news has been varied and unpredictable. Now here's a brief quiz to see how well you've been paying attention to the stories big and small that came out of high tech in 2013. Keep track of your score and see how well you did at the end..."
    The Reality of Android Soldiers and Why Laws for Robots are Doomed to Failure
    TechRepublic, December 30th, 2013
    "Judgement day may have just taken a step closer, for killer robots at least. Amidst concern about the deployment of intelligent robots on the battlefield, governments have agreed to look more closely at the issues that these weapons raise, the first step towards an outright ban before they've even been built.

    In November, the governments that are part of the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW) agreed to meet in Geneva next year to discuss the issues related to so-called "lethal autonomous weapons systems," or what campaigners have dubbed 'killer robots.'..."

      The First 3D Printed Organ -- A Liver -- Is Expected in 2014
      ComputerWorld, December 26th, 2013
      "Approximately 18 people die every day waiting for an organ transplant. But that may change someday sooner than you think -- thanks to 3D printing.

      Advances in the 3D printing of human tissue have moved fast enough that San Diego-based bio-printing company Organovo now expects to unveil the world's first printed organ -- a human liver -- next year..."

      The Most Anticipated Tech of 2014
      CNET, January 1st, 2014
      "2013 is in the history books -- and now it's time to look forward to a new year in tech innovation. What does 2014 have on deck for us? Few products have actually been announced yet -- that'll change at CES 2014 -- but we can already make some educated guesses as to what's going to be hot in tech for the new year..."
        The Worst Tech Predictions of 2013 -- And Two That Hit the Mark
        InfoWorld, December 24th, 2013
        "Here it is; the end of 2013. It was the year that Apple finally took it on the chin, the Chromebook conquered both laptops and tablets, and Apple finally delivered the long-awaited iTV. The PC market held its own and MOOCs swept the campus. Oops. Wait a minute. None of those events occurred. They were simply the fevered imaginings of pundits at the end of 2012 predicting (often with smug certainty) the course of the technology industry in 2013..."
          Wearables, Sensors and Other Things to Watch in 2014
          Business 2 Community, December 26th, 2013
          "One could argue that 2013 was the Year of Content Marketing. It was the year that Google - the most influential information systems company on the planet - updated its search methodology to emphasize content over coding. It was the year that Content Marketing entered the mainstream of business and the marketing function. It has been a year when business after business has re-emphasized the creation of blog content and other company-generated content to attract customers and stay on top of current trends. 2014 will certainly be another year of Content Marketing..."
          IT - Bitcoin
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          Robocoin Bitcoin ATMs Head to Taiwan and Hong Kong
          CoinDesk, January 3rd, 2014
          "The first batch of Robocoin ATMs destined for the Far East is expected to land in Taiwan and Hong Kong later this month.

          The company is planning to expand its presence in Europe and North America, but for now, eight new units are receiving final touches and they should ship to Asia sometime in January. The company noted that it is heading to 'bitcoin-hungry' markets in Asia, namely Taiwan and Hong Kong..."

          Zynga begins testing Bitcoin payments for some online games
          CNET, January 4th, 2014
          "Zynga has begun accepting virtual currency Bitcoin as payment for virtual goods in some of its games. The social-gaming company has partnered with Bitcoin payment processor BitPay to test the cryptocurrency in a handful of its Web-based games, Zynga announced late Friday in a Reddit post. Players of FarmVille 2, CastleVille, ChefVille, CoasterVille, Hidden Chronicles, Hidden Shadows, and CityVille will be able to use Bitcoin to make in-game purchases, according to the post, which was confirmed by CNET..."
          Credit Cards Have Not Evolved With the Internet. Enter Bitcoin.
          CoinDesk, January 5th, 2014
          "The credit card has a lengthy history. One of the first iterations of plastic was actually made of sheet metal. It was called the Charga-Plate, developed in 1928. It was issued to frequent customers by merchants in the same way that department stores today give out credit cards.

          To record a transaction a merchant would place the Charga-Plate into a device that allowed a paper charge slip to be laid on top of it. An inked ribbon would then be run on top of the paper, creating a record of the sale..."

            Bitcoin Is Good
            Recode, January 2nd, 2014
            "We read with interest Paul Krugman's recent article in the New York Times, humorously titled 'Bitcoin Is Evil.' Perhaps the most important part of the article is where Dr. Krugman remarks:

            '...when I try to get them to explain to me why BitCoin is a reliable store of value, they always seem to come back with explanations about how it's a terrific medium of exchange. Even if I buy this (which I don't, entirely), it doesn't solve my problem. And I haven't been able to get my correspondents to recognize that these are different questions..."

            Why Bitcoin Has Value, According To One Of Its Biggest Supporters
            Business Insider, January 2nd, 2014
            "There's one big unanswered question that dogs Bitcoin: Why does it have any value? ... We asked Chris Dixon for his take on why Bitcoin has value.

            Dixon is an investor in Bitcoin, and one of its most ardent supporters. He wrote an eloquent blog post explaining why he's excited about it. The core of his enthusiasm comes from watching as the economy was nuked by the financial system in 2008, and hoping that a new payment mechanism could create a less disastrous outcome:..."

            Solaris
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            Five Solaris Presentations from Oracle Week 2013
            Topics: Clouds, DevOps, Advanced Resource Management, DTrace, Hadoop
            Orgad Kimchi reports that the recent "Oracle week 2013" was the largest paid IT event in Israel with 140 technical seminars and 1800 participants.

            Further, "Oracle ISV Enginerring ran two seminars Built for Cloud: Virtualization Use Cases and Technologies in Oracle Solaris 11 with two Oracle partners Grigale and 4NET Plus and Hadoop Cluster Installation and Administration - Hands on Workshop

            I am posting here presentations and link to the Hadoop hands-on lab, for further reading on Hadoop and Oracle Solaris:..."

            Read on for details.

            Cloud Computing
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            Database Lifecycle Management for Cloud Service Providers
            By By Sudip Datta Datta

            Sudip writes, "Adopting the Cloud Computing paradigm enables service providers to maximize revenues while driving capital costs down through greater efficiencies of working capital and OPEX changes. In case of enterprise private cloud, corporate IT, which plays the role of the provider, may not be interested in revenues, but still care about providing differentiated service at lower cost. The efficiency and cost eventually makes the service profitable and sustainable. This basic tenet has to be satisfied irrespective of the type of service-infrastructure (IaaS), platform (PaaS) or software application (SaaS). In this blog, we specifically focus on the database layer and how its lifecycle gets managed by the Service Providers..."

            IT - Cloud
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            5 Cloud Computing Takeaways for 2013
            InfoWorld, December 30th, 2013
            "Why wouldn't you want a dynamically scalable infrastructure and self-service provisioning? That's the cloud model in a nutshell -- and it has proven itself to the degree where you have to ask why you wouldn't adopt it, rather than why you would.

            There remain reasons not to, of course. Why switch to SaaS versions of enterprise applications, for example, when your old client-server deployment is working just fine? Not to mention all sorts of compliance and security reasons to be conservative about core applications that differentiate a business..."

            10 Things to Consider When Choosing a Cloud Service Provider
            Business 2 Community, December 30th, 2013
            "Choosing the right cloud service provider for your company requires more than just visiting the prospective cloud vendor's website and reading the reviews on other websites. If you're looking to find the right scalable cloud hosting service to improve business success, then opt for a suitable cloud service provider that can offer an easily scalable shared and virtualised infrastructure.

            Whether you are in the process of migrating to the cloud or a current cloud adopter, we provided the acronym: 'PERFECTION' to remember these 10 technological and business considerations when choosing a cloud service provider..."

            Cloud-based security services poised for rapid growth
            IT News, December 23th, 2013
            "The rush of businesses to move their operations to the cloud is creating a slipstream that's pulling security services into the nimbus.

            'People have become more comfortable now with the cloud so they're feeling more comfortable leveraging certain cloud services for security,' said Brian Contos, CISO for Blue Coat, a web filter appliance company.

            That comfort will be driving a rapid growth in the market for cloud-based security services in the next few years. The market, according to Gartner, will jump by a billion dollars in the next two years from $2.1 billion in 2013 to $3.1 billion in 2015..."

            Hybrid Cloud: The Year of Adoption is Upon Us
            Network World, January 2nd, 2014
            "If one word were to encapsulate the cloud computing market as we head into 2014, it could be hybrid.

            It was the big buzzword for cloud computing vendors last year. VMware launched its vCloud Hybrid Service. Rackspace, Microsoft, HP and Joyent have been touting how the same software that runs their public cloud can be used to manage a company's own data center, creating a seamless management experience across both..."

            Is Your Critical Data Safe in the Cloud?
            Business 2 Community, December 24th, 2013
            "For a rapidly growing network of companies with critical data, migrating to the cloud has moved from an idea to reality. But while cloud services promise rich economic benefits, scalability and flexibility, they also can trigger significant perceived risks for companies that are highly concerned about security, data protection, reliability and availability. Primarily, breaches of one's data can prove both devastating and costly, with any breaches sparking downtime that could lead to potential loss of business, credibility or integrity. Still, for increased security, you may actually want to consider the cloud. While this goes against conventional wisdom, there are reasons it makes sense..."
            Moving to a Zero-Trust Security Model
            InfoWorld, January 2nd, 2014
            "The leaking of classified documents detailing the data collection activities of the U.S. National Security Agency earlier this year reignited some long-standing concerns about the vulnerability of enterprise data stored in the cloud. But instead of scaring businesses away from using hosted services, as some experts predicted, the leaks about the NSA spy programs are driving some long overdue changes in enterprise and service provider security and privacy policies..."
            The Definition of Cloud Computing: Why It Matters to IT Security
            SearchCloudSecurity, December 30th, 2013
            Cloud computing is a ubiquitous part of nearly every current enterprise IT strategy and organizational architecture, with operational overheads increasingly being transferred to third parties to manage and maintain traditional in-house enterprises services.

            Cloud providers now offer diverse services ranging from payroll, recruiting, performance management, training and storage. As average computing costs decline, expertise for technology and its associated resources has increased, largely due to interconnectivity requirements between consumers of services and providers of services..."

            Why Pre-Production In the Cloud Makes Sense
            TheServerSide.com, December 30th, 2013
            "Anyone who has been paying attention to the cloud computing space, from software engineers to enterprise IT managers, knows that there are significant benefits to adopting this increasingly pervasive technology, be it cost savings, increased efficiency or faster development cycles. But there is still a great deal of friction slowing down the PaaS, SaaS and IaaS adoption process. Even the most forward thinking organizations have a lot of fears and reservations about moving their IT infrastructure to the cloud. They worry about security. They worry about losing control over policies and access. They worry about governance..."
            IT - CxO
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            CIOs think social tools are the most overhyped technology today
            GIGAOM, December 31st, 2013
            "Another proof that CIOs are out of touch with today's business imperatives comes from Sierra Ventures CIO Network. At a recent CIO Summit, the venture firm polled the roughly 40 attendees as to what were the most overhyped and underhyped technologies:..."
            3 Enterprise IT Resolutions for 2014
            CIO, January 3rd, 2014
            "As we look forward to 2014 - I doubt many of us miss 2013 - we can anticipate a number of massive changes. Robotics and 3D printing will make huge inroads in manufacturing and prototyping, battery technology will likely become obsolete and we'll be up to our armpits in Chinese vendors attempting to break out from China.

            And that's just the obvious stuff. We'll undoubtedly have to deal with security (Target), employee benefits (healthcare reform) and new customer privacy rules. This suggests that you'll need to free up resources that are being used to maintain obsolete systems today, eliminate underperforming vendors and look more aggressively for best practices..."

            3 Trends That Will Make Life Harder for CIOs in 2014
            CIO, December 20th, 2013
            "Robots, 3-D printers and wearable tech are indeed cool, but they should raise red flags for IT leaders. Here's how these emerging technologies will cause operations, privacy and user policy headaches for CIOs in 2014..."
              Four Reasons Why Audits Matter
              Help Net Security, January 2nd, 2014
              "We live in a world where assurance is a precious commodity. People with bad intentions are getting smarter every day as evidenced by the recent compromise of nearly 40 million credit and debit card records at Target. Assuming that your information is secure and only accessible to those individuals with a need to know may not be advisable. As the saying goes, inspect what you expect.

              In light of numerous security breaches that appear almost daily, it is easy to understand why clients, management, and boards of directors need additional assurance on the reliability and security of the information they report to stakeholders, customers, partners, and management..."

              IT Tells All: A Year of Missteps, Miscues, and Micromanagers
              IT World, December 26th, 2013
              "Obstinate bosses, embarrassing mix-ups, a coping strategy or two, confused end-users, a heroic moment -- they're all here in Off the Record, InfoWorld's blog powered by real-life, on-the-job experiences as told from tech's front line. Under the cover of an anonymous byline, IT pros vent over their jobs, share their wisdom, and sometimes even get a laugh over their workplace adventures.

              At the end of the day there may even be a story worth telling. Here's a look back at techies' storybook from 2013..."

              Top 10 Human Resources Software Articles of 2013
              SearchFinancialApplications, December 30th, 2013
              "As talent rises to the top of CEO priority lists, the technology that supports talent initiatives is growing in importance as well. And 2013 was a hot year for human resources software, as many companies scanned the market for new, cutting-edge tools or to replace legacy systems. With plenty of competition among vendors -- there were seven leaders in this year's Worldwide Integrated Talent Management Vendor Analysis IDC MarketScape report -- it's a good time to be a buyer..."
              vBeers-SF
              x
              Monthly vBeers @ Murphy's Law at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino.
              Informal IT Networking on the 2nd Wednesday of each month
              Join us for the next vBeers South Florida. We meet on the 2nd Wednesday of each month at Murphy's Law at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino.

              This will be a non-sponsored event so bring your wallet, your sense of humor and get ready for some great IT and virtualization conversations with some of the best people in South Florida's IT community (including YOU!).

              Location: Murphy's Law Irish Bar

              Address: 1 Seminole Way, Hollywood, FL 33314 USA

              Date: Wednesday, January 8th

              Time: 6pm to 9pm - arrive and depart any time

              Parking is free. I recommend using the lot off 441. Park on the 4th floor and the elevator will drop you off right next to Murphy's.

              Join the vBeers LinkedIn group. Network with fellow vBeers participants on-line.

              IT - DR
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              Improve Disaster Preparedness with the National Mitigation Framework
              SearchSecurity, December 30th, 2013
              "Many businesses that I talk with about disaster recovery don't have the time, resources or expertise to develop solid mitigation strategies. They leave themselves vulnerable to disasters, the effects of which could have less disastrous effects if they had only been prepared.

              For those companies, there is good news: The Federal Emergency Management Agency recently released the National Mitigation Framework, which offers guidelines for lessening the effects of disasters..."

              IT - PM
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              Software Requirements: Why the Term 'Nonfunctional Requirements' Misleads
              SearchSoftwareQuality, December 30th, 2013
              "Missed and mistaken nonfunctional requirements account disproportionally for project and product problems. Most requirements books and courses explicitly split requirements into functional and nonfunctional and advise separately addressing each.

              Terms such as 'quality factors' and 'quality attributes' are preferable but still have issues.

              While seemingly straightforward, the conventional characterization and treatment of nonfunctional requirements actually may unwittingly create critical additional and seldom-recognized issues. In this tip, I explore the problems with common nonfunctional requirements scenarios and offer alternatives that can give development teams better views into user needs..."

                IT - Networks
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                New Year Data Center Forecast: Fabrics, More Money and Silicon
                SearchNetworking, December 17th, 2013
                "What will the new year bring for data center networks? Fabrics, merchant silicon and a resurgence in investments in fundamental networking components will dominate data center network engineering in 2014, even as enterprises mull the best way to adapt to emerging technologies, such as software-defined networks and network virtualization.

                Eric Hanselman, chief analyst at New York-based 451 Research, shared his data center forecast for the next 12 months..."

                Ethernet Fabric Primer
                SearchNetworking, December 30th, 2013
                "Increasingly complex infrastructure demands and evolving changes in application delivery are revealing the fragile state of legacy data center networks. Fabrics offer one alternative for meeting the demands of the modern data center.

                What is an Ethernet fabric?

                An Ethernet fabric is a type of network topology that collapses traditional three-tier data center switching architectures into one or two tiers, ensures network traffic is never more than two hops away from its destination and operationally behaves like one big switch. The goal of an Ethernet fabric is to increase the scalability, performance and resilience of highly virtualized and cloud-ready data centers..."

                IPv6 Will Allow Them to Track You Down. Not!
                Network World, December 20th, 2013
                "There has been a surge of questions of late regarding IPv6 and whether it can be used to better identify individuals on the Internet. Everyone from marketeers to law enforcement officials seem to hold the same misconception that IPv6 is going to make it possible to expose people in a way that IPv4 does not.

                It is true that IPv6 will change addressing on the Internet. Many of us hope it restores the ability to identify an actual network endpoint -- a feature that we lost a number of years ago in IPv4. But some appear to be imagining a future where each machine has its very own address, and that these addresses will be easily traced whenever a person visits a website, plays a game online, or even opens an email..."

                IT - Operations
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                Gartner Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Information Archiving
                StorageNewsletter.com, December 27th, 2013
                "Enterprise information archiving offers organizations solutions for compliance and e-discovery while reducing primary storage costs. Gartner evaluates vendors offering products and services that provide archiving for email, social media, files and other content types.

                The term 'enterprise information archiving' (EIA) incorporates products and solutions for archiving user content (for example, email, files, IM, text messages and SharePoint documents) and other data types (such as structured data, social media and Web page content)..."

                Top 5 data center management webinars in 2013
                BrightTALK, December 30th, 2013
                "Big data, data center infrastructure management, virtualization and software-defined everything: These are just a few trends this year affecting how professionals in the data center have had to cope with new technologies paving the way for the next generation data center.

                The same could be said of BrightTALK's data center management community. With over 4 million minutes of content viewed, 30,000 attachment downloads and 5,000 questions asked, the community has steadily grown in members and content.

                As we head into 2014, we can't help but take a look at 2013's successes. So without further ado, we present to you 2013's top data center management presentations from throughout the year:..."

                IT - Security
                x
                Count these 5 security blessings
                InfoWorld, December 23rd, 2013
                "Like most years, 2013 proved that some things in the computer security world never change: Java continues to be the most popular attack vector, Chinese APT owns most of the world's corporations, criminals swipe millions of customers' credit card info, and John McAfee is on the run again. Nonetheless, I'm happy to report that several welcome security developments in 2013 are likely to have lasting positive impact..."
                5 Creative Ways to Generate Unique Passwords
                Business 2 Community, December 28th, 2013
                "We all know that passwords are far from the perfect solution to online security. Most people reuse the same ones all over the internet, and others use ones that are easy to guess with a minimal amount of personal information about them. There are plenty of single-sign-on options out there, but they fall short for lesser known, niche sites that comprise much of our browsing experience (e.g. your local community theater). This ends up forcing you to create credentials for every purchase or sometimes even just virtual window shopping.

                So what's a conscientious internet user to do? You can't live without passwords, but it'll be impossible to remember random number strings for each site..."

                The Internet of Hackable Things
                Business 2 Community, December 30th, 2013
                "A man walks into an agency and unknowingly sends network passwords to hackers with his 'smart' shoes. Mrs. Andrews looked through her 'smart' camera lens at the White House; she didn't know a hacker in Asia was doing the same.

                Mr. Jones didn't know that his Pentagon audience also included criminals in another state, who recorded everything he said with his 'smart' watch.

                Today, these three scenarios sound futuristic. But if expert predictions pan out, the market for wearable technology will explode over the next three years, bringing about the age of the Internet of Things and everyday cybersecurity issues like the aforementioned. And thanks to a recent Symantec finding, hackers aren't waiting for popular adoption before using what's already on the market to spy.

                You think BYOD is bad now? Hold tight..."

                15 Security Tools You Should Try
                Network World, December 18th, 2013
                "There's a long history of free security software, and here are some of the best-known products you can try inside your own network, if only to discover how vulnerable you are..."

                • Avira, Avast, and Microsoft Security Essentials.
                • ZoneAlarm
                • Arpwatch bandwidth monitoring tool
                • Network Security Toolkit
                • PacketSquare
                • Cheops
                • Hydra Network Logon Cracker
                • SNMP Brute
                • Wireshark
                • Metasploit Framework

                Read on for more tools and details.

                Edward Snowden Has Stripped Us of All Illusion About Our Digital World
                InfoWorld, December 20th, 2013
                "For many of us, Edward Snowden is a hero, a whistleblower who could not be silent about a government abusing citizens' rights, even in the name of a good cause like fighting terrorists -- especially when they apparently included the leaders of Germany and Brazil, former girlfriends and boyfriends of NSA employees, and anyone using encryption or the Internet. Whether or not you believe the former National Securirty Agency contractor is a criminal leaker of necessary police tactics, you have to admit that his revelations have changed the digital context we operate in, and they may change our expectations for it..."
                Lessons from five advanced attacks of 2013
                Information Week, December 27th, 2013
                "Distributed denial-of-service attacks targeted application and business-logic weaknesses to take down systems; fraudsters used encryption to scramble victims' data until they paid a ransom; and, attackers increasingly targeted providers as a weak link in the chain of the digital security protecting businesses.

                In 2013, there were no major revolutions in the way that attackers compromised, cut off, or just plain inconvenienced their victim's systems, but their techniques and tactics evolved. From more pernicious encryption in ransomware to massive DDoS attacked fueled by reflection, attackers showed that they still had options available in their bag of tricks..."

                Lessons Learned in Password Security 2013
                Help Net Security, December 30th, 2013
                "As 2013 comes to a close, it's time to reflect on a year of change for password security and the implications for the year ahead. Large scale security breaches this year (as with every year) have taught us that web apps still have improvements to make. Big improvements. Sites like Twitter, Facebook, Google, Evernote and Dropbox support two-factor authentication, but not by default. This hearkens back to the slow shift from using HTTP to HTTPS by default - but even that effort remains incomplete..."
                The Worst Security SNAFUs Of 2013
                IT World, December 18th, 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..."

                Time to Rethink Privacy
                ComputerWorld, December 31st, 2013
                "In 2014, IT executives are going to have to make some very difficult decisions about privacy. Quite often when we talk about difficult decisions, we mean that we know what the right thing to do is, but it's just hard to bring ourselves to do it. In this case, though, part of the difficulty will be knowing what the right thing to do is. For that reason, every industry -- nay, every company -- will come to very different decisions based on the concerns of their employees and customers..."
                  Tails: Use the Net Anonymously, Anywhere - From a USB Stick
                  Ultra Culture, December 31st, 2013
                  "Tails is an operating system that can be installed on a USB stick (or DVD or SD card) which can be used on any computer, anywhere without using the computer's native operating system. It also keeps your identity and activities secret by using Tor.

                  It's safe anonymity in your pocket - and can be brought along to a library, Internet cafe, work or wherever else you might want to go to use the Internet anonymously. It was recommended as nigh-on mandatory for journalists working on sensitive stories by security researcher Jacob Applebaum in his absolutely excellent speech on the NSA and net security at the 30th Chaos Communications Congress..."

                  IT - Careers
                  x
                  13 Medical Conditions that Are Being Treated with Video Games
                  IT World, December 23th, 2013
                  "Video games have long been considered for entertainment purposes only. They're usually viewed (by non-gamers, at least) as nothing more than a way to kill time or something played only by kids or antisocial adults. Turns out, though, that video games are increasingly being used as effective ways to treat or manage a wide variety of illnesses, diseases or other medical conditions. Researchers across the globe are finding evidence that people suffering from conditions ranging from traumatic brain injuries to fear of public speaking can get some relief through video games. Here are 13 medical conditions for which video games are - or may soon be - prescribed as part of a treatment plan..."
                    2013: The Tech Year in Cartoons
                    ComputerWorld, December 27th, 2013
                    "In January, news out of Apple made it clear that companies, like people, sometimes have funny ways of showing how much they care for the ones they hold most dear.

                    In an SEC filing, Apple reported that CEO Tim Cook's total compensation for 2012 was down 99% from 2011. But that's because his 2011 package was inflated by 1 million shares of company stock that don't vest until 2016 and 2021 -- a strong indicator that Apple's board wants him to stick around.

                    Our Jan. 14 cartoon had some fun juxtaposing the news about Cook's pay with accounts of the rough debut of Apple Maps a few months earlier..."

                    Why No One Talks About IT Professionals Anymore
                    Business 2 Community, December 22nd, 2013
                    "Are we witnessing the death of IT? Are these 'tech' leaders at risk of becoming irrelevant in the cloud era?

                    With the cloud, some argue, you can essentially outsource the level of IT responsibility. Following that logic, IT professionals may soon be seen less as builders and more as simply buyers and managers of business technology infrastructure. Is the future of IT to just purchase all of the cloud technology and then resign?..."

                    18 Hot IT Certifications for 2014
                    IT World, December 3rd, 2013
                    "Foote Partners just released the November update to their quarterly report, the 2013 IT Skills Demand and Pay Trends Report in which they look at both certified and non-certified IT skills, 641 in all. They use what David Foote, founder and CEO of Foote Partners, refers to as, 'a specialized methodology for collecting, and validating compensation data for workers with identical jobs titles that need to be differentiated pay-wise for specific IT and tech skills they possess.'

                    There are some surprising changes to the market over the last two quarters. The certified skills that seem to be flourishing the most fall into the architecture, engineer, security and database categories..."

                    2013: The Year in Pictures
                    CNET, December 25th, 2013
                    "Some of the big moments in tech this past year ranged from space to spacey, and human biology to humanoid robots. Here's a collection of images that represent 2013's big stories, with innovation an overriding theme.

                    We've chosen the images for their impact. Robots have advanced and become more animalistic or human-like. Private companies have rocketed into space. And some of the images are arty expressions of our world through sculpture and light. .."

                      Five Resolutions to Help IT Pros Get Ready for 2014
                      Help Net Security, December 19th, 2013
                      "IT and cybersecurity professionals should resolve now to gear up for accelerated change and complexity in 2014, especially in cybersecurity, data privacy and big data, says ISACA.

                      'The pace of change expected in 2014 will put incredible pressure on technology professionals in the workplace with a focus on keeping IT risk in check while at the same time delivering value to the business. But this is also a chance for the IT department to be a strategic partner with the business on navigating these issues and opportunities,' said Bhavesh Bhagat, member of ISACA's new Emerging Business and Technology Committee.

                      ISACA suggests the following five resolutions to help IT professionals get ready for 2014..."

                      The 10 Most Controversial Companies of 2013
                      CRN, December 27th, 2013
                      "For the IT channel, 2013 was full of controversial decisions, strategies and executives moves. And some of the drama had an enormous impact not only on the respective companies but the entire industry going into 2014. Here are the 10 most controversial companies of the year..."
                        IT - Virtualization
                        x
                        Virtualization, Security Advances on Tap for ADCs
                        Network World, January 2nd, 2014
                        "The application delivery controller has been more than a simple accelerator and load balancer for some time now, becoming an increasingly important component of enterprise network infrastructures over the past couple of years.

                        This growth in importance is illustrated by a recent Infonetics research study, which found that ADC revenues in the second quarter grew by 4% year over year, while WAN optimization, a related network management technology, saw an 11% decline over the same period..."

                        Tech Time Warp of the Week: The World's First Hard Drive, 1956
                        Wired, January 3rd, 2014
                        "IBM unleashed the world's first computer hard disk drive in 1956. It was bigger than a refrigerator. It weighed more than a ton. And it looked kinda like one of those massive cylindrical air conditioning units that used to sit outside your grade school cafeteria.

                        This seminal hard drive was part of a larger machine known as the IBM 305 RAMAC, short for 'Random Access Method of Accounting and Control,' and in the classic promotional video below, you can see the thing in action during its glory days. Better yet, if you ever happen to be in Mountain View, California, you can see one in the flesh. In 2002, two engineers named Dave Bennet and Joe Feng helped restore an old RAMAC at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, where it's now on display. And yes, the thing still works..."

                        IT - Mobile
                        x
                        Mobile Device Management in a BYOD world
                        TechRepublic, December 27th, 2013
                        "Mobile work access is no longer a gimmick to add convenience for your employees. Over the last few years, it's become an integral part of IT services, with a large (and increasing) percentage of IT employees' total work being done through mobile devices rather than a desktop platform. With the proliferation of mobile access, however, we've also opened up a new avenue for hackers and criminals looking to profit from confidential corporate data. The failure of some larger businesses to embrace mobile IT platforms can cripple them in terms of competitiveness -- and their concerns aren't unwarranted, considering most are looking for the best 'cost-effective' option.

                        Let's take a look at where the industry is at and why it's still necessary to pursue high end mobile management software to safely and successfully work in the new BYOD industry..."

                        Proposed California Law would Mandate Smartphone Kill Switch
                        Network World, December 30th, 2013
                        "Kill-switch technology that can render a lost or stolen smartphone useless would become mandatory in California under a new bill that will be proposed to the state legislature in January.

                        The bill will be introduced by Senator Mark Leno, a Democrat representing San Francisco and neighboring towns, and George GascA3n, the district attorney for San Francisco. GascA3n has been spearheading a push by major law-enforcement agencies across the U.S. for more to be done to prevent smartphone theft..."

                        IT - Big Data
                        x
                        Big Data or Big-Time Security Breach?
                        Big Data Republic, December 30th, 2013
                        "The well-established perception that data security is a combination of people, process, and technology holds true for big data, as well as for any other kind of data. In the big data world, data security gets more complex and magnified, but the fundamental issues remain the same.

                        Recent studies reveal that the total average cost of data breach can be as high as $5.4 million for a given financial year. That is a significant number, and reason enough for organizations to evolve from traditional data governance mechanisms to models that can encompass big data as well..."

                        Top10
                        x
                        Top Ten Articles for last few Issues
                        Vol 190 Issues 1, 2, 3 and 4; Vol 189 Issues 1, 2, 3 and 4
                        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:

                        • Java Rocks More Than Ever
                        • Oracle Buys Responsys
                        • Become a Better Architect
                        • IT-as-a-Service with Oracle VM Enables Higher Business Availability
                        • LibreOffice 4.1.4
                        • Oracle Reports Quarterly Revenues of $9.3 billion; EPS up 5% to 56 Cents
                        • Oracle Linux Friday Spotlight
                        • Performance Analysis in a Multitenant Cloud Environment
                        • MySQL Notifier 1.1.5
                        • Oracle Exalogic Elastic Cloud X4-2

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

                          IT - Encryption
                          x
                          IBM's Homomorphic Encryption Could Revolutionize Security
                          InfoWorld, January 2nd, 2014
                          "The idea behind homomorphic encryption (HE) is simple enough. With most encryption schemes, the encrypted data has to be decrypted entirely before any significant work -- e.g., math or programming operations -- can be done on it. HE, on the other hand, lets you perform math directly on the encrypted data and have the results of that math show in the underlying data.

                          What's more, all this is done without having to decrypt any of the data and thus expose it to attack. In theory, it means programs -- or whole VMs -- could run while encrypted and exchange encrypted data between them as they did so..."

                          'PGP' Encryption Has Had Stay-Powering But Does It Meet Enterprise Demands?
                          Network World, December 20th, 2013
                          "PGP encryption, as industry old-timers know, started out as 'Pretty Good Privacy' invented by Phil Zimmermann in 1991, and since then, was sold on to various corporate owners until it ended in the hands of Symantec in 2010. While it is a widely used vintage brands, does PGP public-key encryption still meet today's enterprise demands, given the rise of cloud computing and mobile?..."
                          Sysadmin
                          x
                          Next Virtual Sysadmin Day Is On Jan 28
                          Tracks for Oracle Solaris, Oracle Linux, and Oracle VM
                          Rick writes, "OTN's next virtual sysadmin day is on January 28. It's four hours long, from 9:00 am - 1:00 pm PT.

                          This time we have a whole new set of hands-on labs for Oracle Solaris, Oracle Linux, and Oracle VM. Proctored, of course, which means you can ask questions. The labs in our previous virtual sysadmin day focused on the basics. These focus on using these technologies in real-world scenarios. Click on the Agenda tab in the registration page to see the labs.

                          The event is free, but you do need to register. And there's a little homework involved. Nothing too complicated. We just expect you to have VirtualBox installed and the proper images already imported before we begin class. Click on the the Instructions tab for more info..."

                          Networking
                          x
                          How to Control the Zone's Network Bandwidth on Solaris 11
                          Blog by Lingeswaran R
                          Lingeswaran blogs, "Oracle has made a lot of changes in Solaris 11's network architecture compare to Solaris 10. Solaris 11's network virtualization and network resource control to the OS is absolutely brilliant. The biggest problem with Oracle Solaris 10 is that we have forced to use shared IP type for local zones , since exclusive IP type required a dedicated NIC's for each zone. In shared IP model, you can't be able to separate the network traffic of local zones.For an example if there is an issue with one local zone ,then you have to run snoop command from global zone to capture the network traffic. But in Solaris 11, you can able to run snoop command from local zone itself.

                          So you no need to capture the unnecessary traffic of global and other local zones..."

                          Level3 News
                          x
                          tw telecom Announces Accelerated Market Expansion
                          Extends Powerful Metro and Regional Fiber Network Across U.S. with 5 New Markets and Expansion of more than a Third of Existing Markets
                          tw telecom inc. announced a multi-market expansion that increases its addressable market by expanding its metro fiber footprint approximately 17%. As part of the expansion, in 2014 the Company expects to enter into five new high-demand markets and accelerate the density of its metro-fiber footprint in 27 existing markets.

                          "Our multi-market expansion will leverage our proven investment model, national network, Ethernet leadership and our powerful and scalable integrated nationwide platform to rapidly rollout products and services across our expanding footprint," said Larissa Herda, tw telecom's Chairman, CEO and President.

                          The Company expects to leverage this market expansion to further deploy its industry-leading portfolio of data and Internet services to more enterprises, including its innovative Ethernet and Intelligent Network services.

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