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Alpha Natural Resources Unearths Cost Savings and Performance Gains with Oracle
Leading Coal Producer Relies on the Oracle Exadata Database Machine
As companies in asset-intensive industries grow, they are faced with increased IT requirements and escalating costs. With 'do more with less' mandates, IT must look for solutions that can reduce total cost of ownership while optimizing performance. To address these challenges, Alpha Natural Resources turned to the Oracle Exadata Database Machine for a solution that would enable it to optimize the performance of its business critical applications while reducing total IT costs.

Alpha Natural Resources is successfully leveraging the Oracle Exadata Database Machine to improve performance and lower total cost of ownership.

As one of the largest producers of coal in the country and the third largest metallurgical coal supplier in the world, Alpha Natural Resources needed a cost-effective, highly available and scalable IT infrastructure solution that could support its growth.

After evaluating its internal environment and looking at several alternatives, Alpha Natural Resources decided to switch to Oracle Exadata, determining it was the most cost-effective solution for optimizing its existing Oracle E-Business Suite implementation.

Database Insider
January 2014 issue now available
The January issue of the Database Insider newsletter is now available. (Full newsletter here)

  • Oracle Launches Oracle Exadata Database Machine X4
  • Oracle SQL Developer 4.0 Simplifies Migration to Oracle Database 12c
  • New SANS Institute Report Puts Oracle Audit Vault and Database Firewall to the Test

Read on for details.

The Top 10 Strategic CIO Issues For 2014
By Bob Evans
Bob Evans writes, "CIOs have never had such a glorious - and challenging - opportunity to deliver significant, enduring, and transformational business impact and customer value as they do today.

But it's not a job for the faint of heart. Any CIO pining for a return to the good old days of bonuses based on server-uptime and SLA enforcement should consider swapping out the CIO title for a new one: senior director of infrastructure.

Consider these new paradigm-busting business models that have CIOs' fingerprints all over them:..."

Why Oracle Engineered Systems are Best
By Michael Palmeter
Michael Palmeter writes, "The trend toward adoption of pre-integrated data center 'building blocks' combining applications, database and middleware software, data storage, compute, networking, virtualization and management is well underway within most global enterprises. This trend, and Oracle's leadership position, is evidenced by recent survey data and analysis published by numerous industry luminaries (such as Gartner and IDC). While not all such offerings from all vendors are equivalent, they all have common aims: cost reduction, improved efficiency, better ease of use and the agility to take advantage of marketplace opportunities and technology changes as quickly as they occur, for as long as they last. While other technology solution vendors are now racing to close the gap, Oracle's offering continues to outpace our competition, propelled by numerous commercial, marketplace and unique technical advantages..."
IT - Storage
Shingled Magnetic Recording Part 1: How SMR Expands Disk Drive Capacity
Network Computing, January 8th, 2014
"Despite predictions every few years that we've reached some physical limit, the semiconductor industry has managed to double the transistor density of its products every two years, as predicted by Moore's Law. For many years, disk drive bit density doubled every two years following Kryder's Law, but recently drive vendors have been struggling to produce the ever bigger disks we as users demand. Their latest trick is to overlap disk tracks in a technology known as Shingled Magnetic Recording (SMR)..."
Java Technology
WebLogic in Comparison: RebelLabs Java Servers Report
By Bruno.Borges
Bruno notes, "RebelLabs did a great job comparing the main Java servers out there, where some are pure Servlet/JSP containers, others are full Java EE compliant. But they didn't want to include in the list Oracle WebLogic nor IBM WebSphere apparently for no logical reason but 'they are suited for large enterprise production environments', and because the report is focused on developers.

So, I decided to write this blog post to include detailed information about WebLogic, since WLS is free for developers, even if you are going to deploy GlassFish/JBoss/Whatever in production. Which is why I didn't get why RebelLabs didn't want to compare WebLogic..."

IT - Technology
CES Proved the Internet of Things is More Than a Catchphrase
CIO, January 10th, 2014
"You pull into your driveway, put your car in park, and close the garage. At this point, you fumble for your keys, feel along the wall for the light switches, and adjust the thermostat--but what if your door unlocked, lights turned on, and the house was set to a comfortable temperature before you even walked through the door? This is the very near future: the Internet of Things..."
    Few 'Wearables' Balance Fashion and Tech Function
    CIO Today, January 10th, 2014
    "For the tech industry, the dawn of wearable computing -- think smartwatches and Google Glass -- is an exciting time, but also a risky one. No one really knows whether the average consumer can be enticed to make gadgets part of their everyday attire. The question is: Can tech firms create wearables with the right mix of function and fashion?..."
    Wireless chargers invade furniture, cars
    ComputerWorld, January 9th, 2014
    "The Alliance for Wireless Power (A4WP), a consortium founded by Qualcomm and Samsung, said this week several of its members have begun producing products based on the group's Rezence specification for use in home furnishings and automobiles.

    For instance, Samsung, Gill Electronics and Qualcomm have all passed the group's certification standards and have built chargers based on the specs for mobile devices. The chargers are shaped like pads that can be attached to the underside of furniture and embedded in automobile interiors..."

    Welcome to the era of radical innovation
    ComputerWorld, January 7th, 2014
    "Moore's Law created a stable era for technology, and now that era is nearing its end. But it may be a blessing to say goodbye to a rule that has driven the semiconductor industry since the 1960s.

    Imagine if farmers could go year to year knowing in advance the amount of rainfall they would get. They could plant crops based on expected water availability..."

      4 Reasons Companies Say Yes to Open Source
      ComputerWorld, January 6th, 2014
      "Open source isn't just about saving money -- enterprises are adopting it to develop applications faster, with higher quality components...

      When individual developers think of open source, they think 'free.' And with good cause: Who in their right mind wouldn't be interested in technology that they can get at no cost and use with few licensing restrictions?

      When companies think of open source, these days they think "business agility," a quality they increasingly value above all others in the fast-changing marketplace..."

      New types of RAM could revolutionize your PC
      PCWorld, January 6th, 2014
      "New chips that blur the line between computer memory and storage are starting to move beyond niche applications and could change how we use PCs, an industry analyst said Sunday.

      The chips would enable the same instant-on capability that's common on tablets, but at much higher performance, said Tom Coughlin, founder of Coughlin Associates..."

      Will 2014 be a big year for next-gen batteries?
      GIGAOM, January 9th, 2014
      "Venture capital continues to flow toward new battery technology for the most basic reason that the potential payoff is so large. From grid storage to mobile to EVs, we are hugely dependent on batteries. And a breakthrough, even a 30 percent energy density improvement would completely disrupt the market. This is why batteries may be the last capital intensive investment in cleantech that VC's will consider..."
        9 technologies for a supercharged 2014
        InfoWorld, January 6th, 2014
        "Enough with worthless 2014 predictions. We can't control what the rest of the world will do -- but we are the captains of our own fate. In case you hadn't heard, 2014 is the year we stop talking and start doing in earnest. IMHO, here's the stuff you should be rolling out..."

        • Document databases
        • Key-value stores
        • Graph databases
        • Google Drive/Apps
        • On-premises search
        • Platform as a service (PaaS)
        • Cloud IDEs
        • Hadoop
        • Clustered/distributed file systems

        Read on for details.

        IT - Bitcoin
        Understanding the Value of Bitcoins: 5 Factors that influence the value of a Bitcoin
        AmongTech, January 6th, 2014
        "The value of the USD and other normal currencies are affected by different factors then the Bitcoin, while usually the value of $1 depends on balance of trade, price of oil, gold and many other things with Bitcoin it depends on different factors which are completely new to the economy. Lets take a look at the different factors that affect the value of a Bitcoin ..."
        Why more businesses may adopt bitcoin
        USA Today, January 12th, 2014
        "Forget the regulatory crackdown in China. U.S. businesses are helping the controversial cryptocurrency known as bitcoin to make a price comeback.

        On Saturday, Zynga, the San Francisco-based social game maker, quietly took to Reddit to announce that it's now accepting bitcoins as a form of in-game payment. The pilot program, which Zynga is working on with bitcoin payment processor BitPay, will be offered for seven games including Farmville 2 and Castleville..."

        First Bitcoin ATM in NYC
        New York Post, January 12th, 2014
        "Bitcoin ATMs are coming to the city.

        Josh Harvey, co-founder of Lamassu, showed off the first bitcoin dispenser at last week's Consumer Electronics Show and has found quite a bit of interest for the $5,000 machines.

        The machine, designed and manufactured in Portugal, looks like a typical deli ATM - but functions more like a vending machine. You put in US dollars and receive bitcoins back on your phone..."

        Bitcoin Price Touches $1,000 Again as Overstock Sales Hit $130,000
        CoinDesk, January 6th, 2014
        "The price of bitcoin reached $1,000 again today on Japan-based bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox, following the news this week that online retailer had started accepting bitcoin as a payment method.

        The peak this time around was $1,011 on Mt. Gox. Not a record but surely a notable threshold to surpass once again. The last time it broke through to four digits was back on 5th January amid news that Overstock would embrace bitcoin at some point later in the year - but it turned that around faster than everyone expected..."

        The Bitcoin Crash That Never Came
        Pacific Standard, January 8th, 2014
        "After watching it survive Chinese legislation that attempted to ban the use of virtual currencies, we're much closer to positive that Bitcoin is here to stay for good.

        When the Chinese government banned banking companies in the country from using virtual currencies in mid-December of last year, the value of Bitcoin promptly fell by half to under $500, causing naysayers to proclaim that a larger crash was imminent. The value of Bitcoin alternatives like Litecoin dropped in tandem. Things were looking very bad..."

        Still Don't Get Bitcoin? Here.s an Explanation Even a Five-Year-Old Will Understand
        CoinDesk, January 9th, 2014
        "If you still can't figure out what the heck a bitcoin is, this simple explanation for a five-year-old may help you ...

        We're sitting on a park bench. It's a great day. I have one apple with me, I give it to you.

        You now have one apple and I have zero. That was simple, right?..."

        MySQL Enterprise Monitor 3.0.5 Is Now Available
        maintenance release

        Andy Bang writes, "We are pleased to announce that MySQL Enterprise Monitor 3.0.5 is now available for download on the My Oracle Support (MOS) web site. It will also be available via the Oracle Software Delivery Cloud with the January update in about 1 week. This is a maintenance release that fixes a number of bugs. You can find more information on the contents of this release in the change log..."

        MySQL Enterprise Monitor 2.3.15
        By Andy Bang

        "We are pleased to announce that MySQL Enterprise Monitor 2.3.15 is now available for download on the My Oracle Support (MOS) web site. This is a maintenance release that fixes a number of bugs. You can find more information on the contents of this release in the change log.

        You will find binaries for the new release on My Oracle Support. Choose the "Patches & Updates" tab, and then choose the "Product or Family (Advanced Search)" side tab in the "Patch Search" portlet.

        As an alternative to upgrading to MySQL Enterprise Monitor (MEM) 2.3.15, we highly recommend that you consider MEM 3.0. Based on feedback from our customers, MEM 3.0 offers many significant improvements over MEM 2.3.."

        Cloud Computing
        Larry Ellison and Mark Hurd Emphasize Oracle's Cloud Growth
        By Bob Evans
        Bob Evens writes in Forbes, "In 2010, just after Oracle acquired Sun Microsystems, Oracle CEO Larry Ellison disclosed his intentions to compete with and beat IBM in high-end systems, and compete with and beat SAP in applications.

        In 2013, Oracle's high-end M systems redefined extreme performance by displacing IBM's Power systems in price/performance and memory capacity, and Oracle's SaaS applications came fully to market and ended the year with bookings growing at 35%.

        So in 2014 - with IBM continuing to evolve into a services company and SAP betting its future on a new platform - what might the world expect to see from Oracle? Ellison and Oracle President Mark Hurd themselves provided a range of salient insights into Oracle's priorities and strategies for 2014 during the company's recent Q2 earnings call. As the enterprise-tech industry continues to undergo significant upheaval - at least some of which is being generated by Oracle - we're going to look at 10 of the major issues addressed by Ellison and Hurd.

        To set the stage, here's a quick overview from each exec, framing where Oracle stands and where it's headed:..."

        How to Configure x86 Memory Performance for Large Databases
        By Edward Whalen
        Edward Whalen writes, "Performance tuning of large database systems can be a challenge. Depending on the operating system (OS) and hardware, there might be performance issues that are not readily detectable using normal analysis methods such as AWR reports and OS tools such as sar, top, and iostat.

        Memory utilization in x86 environments is one of the issues that is not readily identifiable, but it can result in significant performance improvements if properly analyzed and configured.

        Now more than ever, with systems that have larger amounts of memory, memory utilization is a critical issue that needs to be addressed. This article describes how to best configure x86 system memory performance for large databases..."

        Oracle Linux: Free as in Speech AND Free as in Beer
        By Monica Kumar
        Monica Kumar "One of the biggest benefits of Oracle Linux is that binaries, patches, errata, and source are always free. Even if you don't have a support subscription, you can download and run exactly the same enterprise-grade distribution that is deployed in production by thousands of customers around the world. You can receive binaries and errata reliably and on schedule, and take advantage of the thousands of hours Oracle spends testing Oracle Linux every day. And, of course, Oracle Linux is completely compatible with Red Hat Enterprise Linux, so switching to Oracle Linux is easy...."
        IT - Cloud
        Cloud's worst-case scenario: What to do if your provider goes belly up
        Network World, January 6th, 2014
        "Last September customers of storage provider Nirvanix got what could be worst-case scenario news for a cloud user: The company was going out of business and they had to get data out, fast.

        Customers scrambled to transfer data from Nirvanix's facilities to other cloud providers or back on to their own premises. 'Some folks made it, others didn't,' says Kent Christensen, a consultant at Datalink, which helped a handful of clients move data out of the now-defunct cloud provider..."

          4 Tips for a Smooth File Sharing Transition
          MSPmentor, January 7th, 2014
          "Switching to a cloud-based file sharing solution is not a decision your clients take lightly. Data security, compliance, integration with in-house systems and processes - these are just a few of the things they are likely to worry about during a transition. If this were just some generic business tool (e.g. new instant messenger) it wouldn't be much of a concern. But for many industries, secure file-sharing is now a mission critical part of daily operations..."
          CIOs Must Balance Cloud Security and Customer Service
          CIO, January 8th, 2014
          "When CIOs in the federal government talk about their customers, they are often referring to the nontechnical employees within their agencies.

          So, like their colleagues in the private sector, federal CIOs face the challenge of rolling out user-friendly applications and services, while at the same time ensuring that those products are secure enough to meet government standards and can stand up to an ever-more varied and sophisticated body of threats..."

            These are cloud users' top 2 concerns
            Network World, January 7th, 2014
            "As a consultant advising clients about how to prepare a cloud adoption strategy, Ahmar Abbas hears lots of positive and negative thoughts.

            But mostly, the head of DISYS's IT outsourcing and cloud computing division hears about two big concerns:..."

            How much cloud heterogeneity is good, how much is bad?
            GIGAOM, January 9th, 2014
            "The term 'cloud sprawl' seems to be uttered a lot these days. This is due largely to the fact that most enterprises have moved to a multi-cloud deployment approach, using many cloud brands and models.

            While this is desirable, in many instances, there are good and bad aspects to leveraging either a multi-cloud approach, or a heterogeneous approach. The core question that many enterprises ask is: How much cloud heterogeneity is a good thing? Also, when does heterogeneity bringing too much complexity and risk?..."

              IT - CxO
              Senior managers are the worst information security offenders
              Help Net Security, January 8th, 2014
              "As companies look for solutions to protect the integrity of their networks, data centers, and computer systems, an unexpected threat is lurking under the surface - senior management.

              According to a new survey, 87% of senior managers frequently or occasionally send work materials to a personal email or cloud account to work remotely, putting that information at a much higher risk of being breached..."

              A key to better meetings: Don't invite everyone
              IT World, January 8th, 2014
              "Harvard Business School Senior Lecturer Bob Pozen says there's an easy way to keep meetings efficient and productive: Don't invite everyone.

              Invite too many people and 'chances are they won't be attentive or take responsibility for what's happening,' he says. Invite too few and you may short on necessary information, ideas or opinion..."

                Leanership trumps leadership
                GIGAOM, January 6th, 2014
                "Two university professors interested in entrepreneurship wanted to test the assumption that entrepreneurs are motivated by the potential upside of starting a gazillion dollar business. Hongwei Xu and Martin Reuf polled 60,000 people - entrepreneurs and normals - and what they found disproved the assumption:..."
                  Public Speaking Tips for Techies
                  Enterprise Efficiency, January 6th, 2014
                  "At some point in your career, you will be expected to make a presentation. Whether you're presenting to an audience of your co-workers in a conference room, or an auditorium full of conference attendees, there are surefire ways to overcome many of the stumbling blocks that plague public speakers..."
                    Preparing to Dismiss an IT Employee
                    Enterprise Efficiency, January 9th, 2014
                    "Firing an employee with sensitive access can be difficult. Even if that person is leaving voluntarily and with no malice, it can be sensitive.

                    One experience I will never forget from working in IT was when I resigned from a network administrator job. I had found a better-paying job elsewhere and submitted my two weeks' notice. Though I had absolutely no ill feelings toward the company, my boss fired me on the spot. He said my resignation made me a security risk..."

                    IT Leadership Lessons You Can Learn From Failure
                    CIO, January 6th, 2014
                    "In the world of IT, things can and will go wrong. Failure can come from a number of things such as rushing to get too much done in a single project instead of breaking it down into smaller, more manageable projects. It can come from not allowing enough lead time for developers to do their part on the back-end or even from a consultant or vendor that led you down the wrong path..."
                      CIOs and CMOs: Power Couple or Strange Bedfellows?
                      Network World, January 6th, 2014
                      "Marketing departments are shifting significant amounts of their own budgets toward IT-related products and services, independent of what the IT department spends, to the extent that Gartner predicts that by 2017 chief marketing officers (CMO) will spend more money on IT than chief information officers (CIO).

                      Whether Gartner's prediction comes to pass or not, Forrester analyst Sheryl Pattek predicts that, out of necessity, CMOs and CIOs will team up to become a 'C-suite power couple'. But she adds that at this early point, the CMO/CIO power sharing relationship 'is in need of serious couple's therapy.'..."

                      Rise of 'techno-finance chief' on cards, say accounting bodies
                      CIO, January 7th, 2014
                      "Increasing reliance on technology by companies could see the rise of a new kind of C-Suite executive, according to two influential accounting associations.

                      As company boards get more technologically aware and IT becomes a central plank of business models, feedback obtained by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) and Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) suggests that the rise of the 'chief financial and technology officer' or 'CFTO', could gain traction in 2014..."

                      CIOs spell out IT priorities but most say they lack resources
                      ComputerWorld UK, January 6th, 2014
                      "Only 10 percent of 'digital leaders' feel their organisation has enough resources to address the management issues and IT trends that their company has prioritised, according to the annual digital leaders survey from BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT..."
                      2014 Is Going To Be A Huge Year For Tech, And Here Are The Facts To Prove IT
                      Business Insider, January 11th, 2014
                      "JP Morgan analyst Douglas Anmuth and his team are incredibly optimistic about the Internet industry in 2014.

                      In an email he just sent out to clients, Anmuth says that Internet stocks increased in value 78% during 2013 thanks in large part to seven "key" trends.

                      He says, "We believe those underlying dynamics should continue in 2014."

                      Here are those key trends:..."

                        Tech Performance Issues Plague IT and Businesses
                        CIO, January 10th, 2014
                        "While CIOs and other senior IT leaders focus on being transformational, half of global businesses say they experience tech performance issues daily. What's the problem and how can IT improve things? ...

                        Outlook connection problems? system crashing repeatedly? Trouble connecting to internal human resources systems? You're not alone.

                        According to a recent study from Compuware, of the more than 300 business executives surveyed, 48 percent reported they experience tech performance issues daily, and three out of four of those executives say the frequency and severity of these issues isn't improving..."

                        OTech Magazine - Winter 2014
                        A whole lot of expertise in one place
                        "The Winter 2014 edition of OTech Magazine is now available. This free online publication, the brain-child of Oracle ACE Director Douwe Pieter van den Bos, publishes, "'news stories, credible rumors and how-to's covering a variety of topics.'

                        The latest issue includes 16 articles on Fusion Middleware, SOA, NoSQL, data security, OBI, ODI, WebCenter, and more..."

                        IT - PM
                        3 steps to move from project manager to IT manager
                        IT World, January 9th, 2014
                        "I have been a Project Manager for about five years and have successfully been leading dotted line resources and meeting my project deadlines. How do I make the jump from project management to people management?"

                        "Thanks for your question. My thought is that since you have been managing dotted line resources successfully, then chances are you already have the leadership skills and ability to oversee employees from an IT management perspective..."

                        7 Reasons IT Organizations Should Adopt Six Sigma
                        CIO, January 9th, 2014
                        "Since General Electric adopted Six Sigma, a process-improvement strategy developed by Motorola in the 1980s, in the 1990s, the term/methodology has become a catch phrase for quality improvement. And although originally intended for use in manufacturing and the supply chain as a way to reduce or eliminate defects, the data-driven, process-improvement strategy has since been applied to other sectors and services, including IT.

                        So how can a process-improvement strategy such as Six Sigma benefit your IT organization? asked IT as well as Six Sigma and other experts..."

                        IT - Networks
                        How two cities brought fiber to the home when the carriers couldn't
                        InfoWorld, January 9th, 2014
                        "It would be hard to find two cities that are more dissimilar than tiny Leverett, Mass., and Stockholm, Sweden, 3,700 miles across the Atlantic. Even so, they have more in common than cold winters: Both sport high-speed fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) networks built by local governments when privately owned carriers were either indifferent or simply not up to the job..."
                          IT - Operations
                          5 Ways Software-Defined Tech Simplifies Datacenter Management
                          Network Computing, January 8th, 2014
                          "Have you heard enough hype about 'software-defined' this or that? I can certainly see why. But if you are trying to get a better grasp of the modern datacenter, it's critical to understand the goal of these new technologies: to reduce the complexity associated with distance.

                          Of course software-defined technologies have other important purposes, too. But for the sake of this conversation, let's examine exactly how new software-defined tools are helping bring datacenters closer together. Here are five examples:.."

                            IT - Security
                            Book: Investigating Internet Crimes
                            Help Net Security, January 8th, 2014
                            "Cybercrime is exploding, we all know that. But if you ever wondered about how online crimes are investigated by law enforcement, wonder no more: this guide book goes through the steps of such an investigation and provides information about collecting and interpreting electronic evidence that will be used to prosecute the criminals..."
                              Analysts Say Target's Entire Network Breached
                              CIO Today, January 6th, 2014
                              "The fact that such a massive amount of additional data was comprised in the Target security breach provides security researchers a better picture of what has happened. Target's whole network appears to have been compromised, not just the payment processing side...

                              Target has upped the estimates on its holiday data Relevant Products/Services breach, raising the number of those affected to between 70 million and 110 million people. That's about three times higher than the retailing giant's initial projections of 40 million affected users..."

                              Whitepaper: Best practices and applications of TLS/SSL
                              Help Net Security, January 10th, 2014
                              "Read this whitepaper to learn how TLS works, best practices for its use and the various applications in which it can secure business computing.

                              TLS (Transport Layer Security), widely known as SSL (Secure Sockets Layer), is the most well known method to secure your web site. But it can also be used for much more..."

                              Talk of cyberwarfare meaningless to many companies, experts say
                              CSO Online, January 6th, 2014
                              "While government leaders often use attention-grabbing buzzwords like cyberwarfare, such expressions do not have much impact on security budgets within private industries, experts say.

                              The possibility of cyberwarfare has been in the spotlight for more than a year, when then-Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said in a policy speech that the nation faced the threat of 'another Pearl Harbor.'..."

                              The Internet of Things: Top 5 Threats to IoT Devices
                              CSO Online, January 9th, 2014
                              "The Internet of Things (IoT) is a mass of billions of connected devices from cars to wireless wearable products. Cisco's Internet Business Solutions Group estimated 12.5 billion connected devices in existence globally as of 2010 with that number doubling to 25 billion by 2015.

                              In light of this burgeoning market, CSO identifies five categories of IoT devices at risk in the coming year. CSOs who are aware of the threats and potential damage to their organizations can prepare accordingly..."

                              What are the most effective means for achieving IT ops excellence?
                              Help Net Security, January 8th, 2014
                              "Based on results collected across a variety of industry verticals - including financial services, healthcare, manufacturing, and retail - Continuity Software's IT Operations Analytics Benchmark underscores the importance of operational analytics in meeting IT performance goals..."
                              IT - Careers
                              15 Hot Programming Trends -- and 15 Going Cold
                              InfoWorld, January 6th, 2014
                              "Programmers love to sneer at the world of fashion where trends blow through like breezes. Skirt lengths rise and fall, pigments come and go, ties get fatter, then thinner. But in the world of technology, rigor, science, math, and precision rule over fad.

                              That's not to say programming is a profession devoid of trends. The difference is that programming trends are driven by greater efficiency, increased customization, and ease-of-use. The new technologies that deliver one or more of these eclipse the previous generation. It's a meritocracy, not a whimsy-ocracy.

                              What follows is a list of what's hot -- and what's not -- among today's programmers..."

                                IT job growth slows
                                Network World, January 10th, 2014
                                "The tech industry is often touted as a bright spot on an otherwise lackluster hiring scene, but one firm's analysis of recent employment data suggests it's not as vibrant as it has been.

                                IT job growth is slowing, and CIOs are becoming more cautious about expanding their workforces, according to Victor Janulaitis, CEO of Janco Associates..."

                                13 Surprising Things That Affect Whether You Get Hired
                                Business Insider, January 10th, 2014
                                "The hiring manager uses the interview to determine whether you'd be a good fit for the job. And you know the drill, so you arrive on time, dress impeccably, and answer all of their questions intelligently.

                                But there are many more small details that overtly or subconsciously affect the way you're perceived. For example, does the time of your interview affect how you're critiqued? Are you supposed to accept that cup of coffee they offer?

                                Here are 13 surprising things that affect whether you land the job..."

                                  Big data, mobile and security make up salary hot spots this year
                                  ComputerWorld UK, January 7th, 2014
                                  "The biggest salary increases for IT professionals are for roles in big data analytics, ecommerce and mobile and IT security, according to the Robert Half 'Technology 2014 Salary Guide'.

                                  The global recruitment agency says salaries for all these roles will rise by four percent or more this year compared to 2013, outpacing the average UK salary rise rate of 2.5 percent..."

                                  Nearly all of LinkedIn's 25 Hottest Skills are IT-related
                                  IT World, January 9th, 2014
                                  "IT professionals are extraordinarily well-positioned for job prospects in 2014, according to LinkedIn.

                                  The site examined the skills and employment history of its 259 million member profiles last month and determined the 25 most-sought-after skills that got people hired last year.

                                  Of the 25, only six were not in IT: social media marketing (#1); digital and online marketing (#7); recruiting (#8); business development and relationship management (#9); PR and communications (#21); and strategy and strategic planning (#25). And some of those, you can argue, have a strong IT component, as well..."

                                  IT - Social Media
                                  What to Look for When Hiring Social Media Tech Talent in 2014
                                  CIO, January 7th, 2014
                                  "As social media evolves to become a major platform of engagement with your customers and partners in 2014, so, too, will the skillsets needed to make sure it's being used efficiently and effectively.

                                  Social networks like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and others are still relatively novel for companies in terms of trying to use them to extend their reach and better engage and track customer and partner behavior, says Kimberly Samuelson, director of ECM strategy at Laserfiche..."

                                  IT - Virtualization
                                  Xen Mirage: The less-is-more cloud OS
                                  InfoWorld, January 9th, 2014
                                  "The less, the better. That's the philosophy underscoring Mirage, a new operating system created by the Xen Project, the same folks who gave us the Linux Xen hypervisor.

                                  Originally discussed back in 2010, Mirage was developed to solve one specific problem and solve it well: to support the kinds of network application loads that run on cloud infrastructure. A 1.0 release of the OS emerged last December -- it's now up to 1.03, thanks to brisk user feedback -- and is ready for download, with binaries available for x86 and ARM processors..."

                                  VDI: Avoid these rookie mistakes
                                  IT World, January 9th, 2014
                                  "If you haven't looked at VDI technology in a while, you'll find that it's changed. Faster, cheaper technology has made it an interesting option for some companies seeking a way to support flexible, work-from-anywhere environments. In fact, some CIOs say BYOD is driving new interest given that virtualized desktops can help keep corporate data on corporate servers, not on client devices.

                                  It's not without its challenges of course. To get you started, we've assembled advice from IT leaders who have kicked the tires or have successfully deployed VDI. They share their rookie mistakes (Don't virtualize everything!) and their best tips (Choose that pilot project carefully!). We hope you find this information helpful when researching your own project..."

                                  IT - Email
                                  How to drastically reduce the time you spend on e-mail
                                  IT World, January 6th, 2014
                                  "Vowing to spend less time on e-mail can feel as achievable as resolving to breathe less, but the folks at Asian Efficiency say it can be done and rather easily at that.

                                  Their first tip: Send less..."

                                  "It's not rocket science. Just think about it. For every e-mail you're sending, you're inviting someone else to send you an e-mail back. It might not be a 1-to-1 ratio but it's pretty damn close," they write. "So by sending less e-mail, you avoid getting more e-mails."

                                    5 Email Tips for Intense People
                                    Medium, January 10th, 2014
                                    "I have been meaning to rant about emails for a while. And now I've been inspired. Read on if you want a startup founder's thoughts on email.

                                    This post assumes you have read some baseline email etiquette like this article written by Mark Suster and that you are a self-proclaimed 'intense person.' We use almost all of these practices at Poptip, so I thought I'd share..."

                                    IT - Mobile
                                    Another year in review: revisiting 2013's mobile trends
                                    Forrester, January 9th, 2014
                                    "Every year for the past few years, I've revisited our predictions for the previous year's mobile trends. It's now time to look back at 2013 and, specifically, at the 2013 mobile trends post I put together a year ago with my colleague Julie Ask.

                                    So many things happened in 2013, making it difficult to sum up the year overall..."

                                      What to include in your mobile privacy policy
                                      ComputerWorld, January 7th, 2014
                                      "It's well known that mobile devices are compact storehouses of vast amounts of data that they seem eager to broadcast to the world, which makes it all the more baffling that few companies have discussed -- much less implemented -- mobile-specific privacy policies. Putting off such a move ("procrastination" is such a negative word) may have made sense up to now to give us all time to get a handle on what the limits should be, but you really will regret waiting much longer. This new year we have entered may be a good time to craft a mobile privacy policy. If you've decided to do that, here are some things to consider..."
                                        IT - Big Data
                                        Big Data Helping Broadcasters Expand Revenue
                                        Big Data Republic, January 3rd, 2014
                                        "Traditional television broadcasters are faced with significant challenges that are reducing their ad revenue streams. One challenge is the number of devices such as tablets and smartphones that have expanded into consumers' daily lives and are taking away eyeballs and attention spans from traditional static television. There are many ways to 'watch TV' without actually watching ads..."
                                          Is 2014 the Year of the 'Big Data Stack'?
                                          CIO, January 9th, 2014
                                          "Will 2014 see the emergence of a big data equivalent of the LAMP stack?

                                          Richard Daley, one of the founders and chief strategy officer of analytics and business intelligence specialist Pentaho, believes that such a stack will begin to come together this year as consensus begins to develop around certain big data reference architectures - though the upper layers of the stack may have more proprietary elements than LAMP does..."

                                          IT - BYOD
                                          2014 Will Be the Year of CYOD
                                          Enterprise Efficiency, January 7th, 2014
                                          "If 2013 was the year of BYOD (bring-your-own-device), then 2014 could easily be the year of CYOD. CYOD (or choose-your-own-device) is a happy medium between corporate-issued desktops and laptops and users working from any device that they want. The basic idea is that an organization chooses upfront which device types they want to support, and makes those device types available to end users. A user is free to choose from any device offered by the organization..."
                                          Bring Your Own Wearable
                                          GIGAOM, January 12th, 2014
                                          "The trend lines for BYOD (bring your own device) are running up and to the right pretty fast. July 2013 research suggests 80 percent of respondents agree that BYOD is the 'new normal' (even though only 45 percent have a formal BYOD policy in their company). My bet is that the security concerns that have hindered more widespread adoption will decrease. The recent enhancements of iOS 7 relative to enterprise concerns has led to large increases in buying plans for iPhones and iPad, for example ..."
                                          Top Ten Articles for last few Issues
                                          Vol 191 Issue 1; Vol 190 Issues 1, 2, 3 and 4; Vol 189 Issues 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:

                                          • Tech Time Warp of the Week: AT&T's Flight Information System, 1989
                                          • Five Solaris Presentations from Oracle Week 2013
                                          • Using Java in Avionics and UAV Applications
                                          • What is High Availability?
                                          • Next Virtual Sysadmin Day Is On Jan 28
                                          • Top Java Stories of 2013
                                          • Virtualization Management Podcast
                                          • Are You Ready to Manage 50x the Amount of Business Content?
                                          • Monthly vBeers @ Murphy's Law at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino.
                                          • Database Lifecycle Management for Cloud Service Providers

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

                                            Interview with Authors of "NetBeans Platform for Beginners"
                                            By Geertjan Wielenga
                                            Geertjan Wielenga writes, "On Leanpub, a new book entitled 'NetBeans Platform for Beginners' is being written by Jason Wexbridge and Walter Nyland. (There's also a new NetBeans Platform book to be released soon on Amazon, by Paul and Gail Anderson, click here for details.)

                                            I've known about the Anderson book for a while, but not about the one by Walter and Jason. So I sent them some questions! Here are their responses..."

                                            Securing Oracle Database 12c: A Technical Primer eBook
                                            complimentary ebook
                                            Get your complimentary copy of the new database security ebook: Securing Oracle Database 12c: A Technical Primer.

                                            Troy writes, "The book is for database administrators who want to learn more about Oracle Database security and for security professionals who want to learn more about how to secure Oracle Databases in an overall IT environment. While the title references Oracle Database 12c, most of the content is applicable to Oracle Database 9i and above..."

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