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Jan 12th, 2015 — Jan 18th, 2015 Generate the Custom HTML Email for this Issue
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Volume 203, Issue 2 << Previous Issue | Next Issue >>
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Updated and Expanded Oracle Retail Portfolio Helps Retailers Shift to Commerce Anywhere
Oracle and MICROS solutions extend retail-rich functionality on premises and in the cloud
Enhancements to Oracle's retail portfolio included in Oracle Retail 14.1 help retailers simplify their IT environments while delivering the commerce anywhere experience consumers expect. The new release builds on Oracle's strategy for the combination of Oracle and MICROS, as well as extending Oracle's retail offerings in the cloud.
Chemmart Pharmacy Extends Innovative, Personalized Customer Experience to the Web with Oracle Commerce
Australian pharmacy chain sees increase in sales, higher average order value by providing commerce anywhere
Establishing an online retail presence has helped Chemmart Pharmacy to extend its localized approach, enabling customers to liaise directly with their local pharmacy online. This innovative e-commerce business model built on Oracle Commerce enables the national chain to offer a greater range of products and services, better local inventory visibility, and a more personalized, relevant and convenient experience to each customer. Local stores are seeing the benefits of increased sales, including a tripling of the average order value, as each pharmacy manages its own online entity and recognizes the resulting revenue on its ledgers.
Big Data SQL for Oracle NoSQL Database (part 1)
By Anuj Aahni
Anuj writes, "We recently announced Oracle Big Data SQL support for Oracle NoSQL Database. This feature will allow Oracle Database users to connect to external data repositories like Oracle NoSQL Database, and/or Hadoop, and will enable them to fetch data from any or all of the repositories (at once) through single SQL query. We believe this a significant step forward as it streamlines the adoption of big data technologies with traditional technology stack.

If you are following big data space then you would agree that everyone likes the scalability, availability, performance at cost aspect of it but almost everyone struggles to modify their enterprise application to work with big data technologies because they don't talk the same language as traditional database systems do..."

Java 8 Parallel Streams on SPARC T5
By Amit Hurvitz

Amit Hurvitz blogs, "I showed on this previous post how a parallel word search implemented by Java 7 fork/join (based on this article) scales on a T5-4 server. Java 8 new features let the code needed for the same parallelism become much more simple, compact, and readable. Parallel streams and lambda expressions spare us from many helping classes and methods definitions we needed to create before.

Here is how to add Java 8 parallel streams support to the word search example..."

Increasing simplicity and agility with Oracle Engineered Systems
Tech Mahindra
"We are happy to share another customer story," writes Honglin Su. "Tech Mahindra has deployed Oracle's Virtual Compute Appliance to help it meet the requirements of one of its customers - a large Australian wealth management organization. Utilising the pre-built, pre-tested integrated platform, Tech Mahindra will be able to meet its business goals, which include achieving a return on their five-year TCO, providing a more agile IT infrastructure to meet its customer's needs and simplifying the technology that its staff manage and maintain..."
Join Larry Ellison announcing the Next Generation of Oracle Engineered Systems
January 21st - 11:00 AM - 4:00 PM PT

What happens when extreme performance meets extreme savings? Find out on January 21, 2015, as Larry Ellison, Executive Chairman of the Board and Chief Technology Officer, unveils the datacenter of the future.

TheCube will be joining us, so tune in early for live interviews. After the announcement, expert - led sessions and a panel will address engineered systems, converged infrastructure, and Big Data.

Register today

WebLogic with Docker in the Cloud
by Frank Munz
Juergen writes, "Docker has been without any doubt the most hyped technology this summer. Apart from incrementally and quickly creating light-weight containers that can be hooked up together it seems to become the de-facto standard for spinning up instances locally and in the cloud. In the past there was no real compatibility between cloud providers on an OS/instance-level and also import/export features were 'demanding' at best..."
kernel zones vs. fs resources
By Mike Gerdts
Mike writes, "Traditionally, zones have had a way to perform loopback mounts of global zone file systems using zonecfg fs resources with fstype=lofs. Since kernel zones run a separate kernel, lofs is not really an option. Other file systems can be safely presented to kernel zones by delegating the devices, so the omission of fs resources is not as bad as it may initially sound.

For those that really need something that works like a lofs fs resource, there's a way to simulate the functionality with NFS. Consider the following system..."

IT - Storage
The Next Decade In Storage
Business 2 Community, January 16th, 2015
"You've been reading plenty of 'What's coming in 2015' articles. Pfft, what fun are they? Robin Harris, a.k.a. StorageMojo, peers into his crystal ball to predict what storage will be like in 2025. And, he says, the next 10 years will be the most exciting and explosive in the history of data storage..."
    Leveraging Next-Gen Storage
    Baseline, January 14th, 2015
    "Cloud-based storage promises new efficiencies because it enables companies to reduce their dependence on an ever-increasing number of hardware storage systems.

    Data storage, much like other components of IT, is in the midst of a transformation. The latest generation of storage technology leverages the cloud and software-defined solutions designed to reduce costs and increase flexibility and scalability..."

      Around 570 Million HDDs Shipped in 2014, Up 3% Y/Y, January 14th, 2015
      "Here is a report, Preliminary CQ4 '14 Quarterly Update, January 6, 2015, from the SDAS: HDD Information Service by analysts of Trendfocus, Inc.


      • Estimated at 144-145 million HDDs for CQ14
      • 2014 total grew to ~570 million, up 3% Y/Y
      • Mobile HDDs offset modest declines in desktop demand
      • Nearline HDD shipments top expectations and remained flat Q/Q
      • Consumer HDD shipments dip as game console HDD sales ease seasonally

      Read on for details.

        Data Storage Benchmarking Guide
        Enterprise Storage Forum, January 13th, 2015
        "Data storage benchmarking can be quite esoteric in that vast complexity awaits anyone attempting to get to the heart of a particular benchmark.

        Case in point: The Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA) has developed the Emerald benchmark to measure power consumption. This invaluable benchmark has a vast amount of supporting literature. That so much could be written about one benchmark test tells you just how technical a subject this is. And in SNIA's defense, it is creating a Quick Reference Guide for Emerald (coming soon).

        But rather than getting into the nitty-gritty nuances of the tests, the purpose of this article is to provide a high-level overview of a few basic storage benchmarks, what value they might have and where you can find out more..."

        IT - Technology
        The best gadgets of CES 2015, brought to you by our sick and perhaps hungover survivors
        VentureBeat, January 13th, 2015
        "We know you're getting tired of hearing us talk about how far we walked at the 2015 International CES, the big tech trade show that drew 170,000 people to Las Vegas last week. But we've got to say it one last time, because we walked miles across 3,600 exhibits and 2.2 million square feet of space to bring you this list: the best of CES..."
          IT - Bitcoin
          What It Took to Bring Bitcoin to 5,000 Taiwan Convenience Stores
          CoinDesk, January 12th, 2015
          "The organizers of a large-scale project to make bitcoin available over the counter at thousands of Taiwanese convenience stores have spoken about the efforts it took to bring their plan to fruition.

          The main hurdles were overcoming lack of knowledge about bitcoin and local regulatory fears among mainstream businesses, according to local exchange BitoEX.

          Despite these, the company still managed to launch a fully operational bitcoin-purchasing service in October, with a rollout to 2,980 Family Mart stores. It then expanded to over 5,000 stores in total, with the addition of the OK MART and Hi-Life chains..."

          Bitcoin Is Dead Because You Are Too Dumb
          CryptoCoinsNews, January 15th, 2015
          "Bitcoin is dead, they say again. Miner's are shutting down. Services are running off with customer's coins. Bitcoin is a Ponzi Scheme. The Bitcoin CEO was arrested. Bitcoin is for drugs and money laundering. The price is falling, the price is falling.

          Hey - Henny Pennying is big business but I don't picture these individuals as Chicken Littles. To me, they're a pit of hungry vipers lashing out where ever their gut tells them..."

          How Credit Card Fraud Sank One Bitcoin Exchange
          CoinDesk, January 13th, 2015
          "One of the biggest problems for bitcoin exchanges and their customers is often making the exchange quick and easy. Exchanges like Canadian firm Virtex made the decision a long time ago not to accept credit cards. Their biggest concern? Fraud, in the form of chargebacks.

          In a credit card chargeback, a credit-card paying customer asks the issuing bank (the bank that gave them the card) to reverse a transaction made with a merchant..."

          The 'internet weirdos' of bitcoin are changing the way money works
          The Guardian, January 16th, 2015
          "There's no reason to mourn the fall of bitcoin prices. Anyone who is crying over bitcoin's recent face-plant - losing one-third of its value in two days - must be a speculator. Gambling is gambling - sorry, pal. If you're celebrating the price drop because of schadenfreude, or just straight-up skepticism about the cryptocurrency itself, you're missing the point, too..."
          Bitcoin's Price Drop in the Headlines
          CoinDesk, January 15th, 2015
          "The fact that bitcoin is endowed with a somewhat volatile nature does not come as a surprise to cryptocurrency enthusiasts, who saw it soar beyond $1,000 in late 2013, only to see it diminish in value again throughout 2014, and drop a further 40% at the beginning of this year.

          What happened in the early hours of yesterday, however, caused shockwaves far beyond the bitcoin community. The price crashed from $224 at midnight to around $175 (a drop of almost 22%) in just a matter of hours, before rebounding again.

          Unsurprisingly, the drop in value has set off a whirlwind of conversation about the future of bitcoin, both from within and outside the community..."

          Bitcoin Will Fix Remittances With Or Without The Western Unions Of The World
          TechCrunch, January 17th, 2015
          "In the late 90s, as personal computers and the Internet were increasingly finding their way into American homes, there were those who either didn't recognize the disruptive power or potential they would have, or they felt threatened by their emergence (e.g 'I'll never quit reading the newspaper!').

          We saw this again in the early 2000s, as companies like PayPal emerged and forever changed our willingness to pay people over the Internet - including paying complete strangers..."

            IBM Reveals Proof of Concept for Blockchain-Powered Internet of Things
            CoinDesk, January 17th, 2015
            "IBM has unveiled its proof of concept for ADEPT, a system developed in partnership with Samsung that uses elements of bitcoin's underlying design to build a distributed network of devices - a decentralized Internet of Things.

            The ADEPT concept, or Autonomous Decentralized Peer-to-Peer Telemetry, taps blockchains to provide the backbone of the system, utilizing a mix of proof-of-work and proof-of-stake to secure transactions..."

            Cloud Computing
            Five Signs Cloud Is Mainstream At Your Company
            By Carol Hildebrand
            Carol Hildebrand writes, "Oracle Vice Chairman Jeff Henley spends a lot of time talking about cloud computing to C-level executives all over the world, drawing on his own background as a CFO to add to the conversation. Not only does this help him spot cloud trends quickly, but it also gives him a birds-eye view of cloud evolution. And according to Henley, there are some interesting signals that cloud is hitting the mainstream...

            'It's early days of this transition, but it's definitely way beyond the early adopter novelty stage at this point,' he said.

            Oracle Launches Modern and Secure Oracle Financial Services Cloud
            New community cloud offering helps financial services companies
            Financial services companies have very specific needs related to IT security, privacy, compliance, and regulatory requirements. At the same time, these enterprises need to maintain back-office processes, streamline operations, and work efficiently to stay competitive. To facilitate the adoption of cloud technologies and address these common industry requirements and challenges within the financial services industry, Oracle has unveiled Oracle Financial Services Cloud...
            Altimetrik chooses Oracle HCM Cloud and Oracle ERP Cloud over Competition
            Becomes an Oracle Project Resource Management Cloud Service in India
            Altimetrik, a US-based Global Solutions Provider and Technology Innovation organization has chosen Oracle Human Capital Management (HCM) Cloud and Oracle Project Resource Management Cloud, part of Oracle Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Cloud, to standardize its People Experience (PE) business practices and its resource management/utilization processes.

            Altimetrik is a Gold-level member of Oracle PartnerNetwork houses an experienced Capability Center for Oracle solutions which has decided to take-on the challenge of implementing the Oracle HCM and Oracle Project Resource Management Cloud with the help of its Oracle Fusion Certified workforce.

            How Cloud Computing Is Revolutionizing Business
            Mark V. Hurd, CEO at Oracle
            Mark writes, "Cloud computing is triggering a stunning shift in how businesses operate. Modern SaaS applications for marketing, HR, and ERP are allowing companies to accelerate operations and engage more intimately with their customers thanks to heretofore unseen heroes in their ranks.

            In the course of just a few years, this new generation of social/mobile SaaS applications with built-in analytics is redefining mission-critical business priorities while erasing the traditional distinctions between front-office and back-office activities.

            These changes are essential for companies striving to remake themselves into smarter and faster-paced organizations that can move in lockstep with customers' rapidly shifting requirements..."

            Friday Spotlight: Xen 4.5 Released
            By Honglin Su
            Honglin Su writes, "In today's spotlight, we are happy to share that Xen 4.5 was released. This is the latest upstream development release that continues bringing increased usability, simplicity and innovation to the leading Xen hypervisor that powers some of the world largest cloud services in the world today..."
            Friday Spotlight:Incredibly Simple Conversion from RHEL to Oracle Linux
            Chris writes, "This week I am very excited to share with you just a fantastic video showing the exact steps to simultaneously convert your Red Hat Enterprise Linux installation to Oracle Linux and also upgrade to a more recent version. In this very short video, Oracle's Wayne Lewis shows how it's done:..."
            IT - Cloud
            Enterprises Win as Cloud and on-Site Software Vendors Duke It Out
            PCWorld, January 13th, 2015
            "More price cuts are expected this year because of fierce competition between cloud and on-site software providers, and enterprises will be the beneficiaries.

            In particular, in the customer relationship management market, a key cloud battleground, seat prices for segments such as sales force automation are expected to decline in the next twelve months and by 25 percent through 2018, according to market research company Gartner.

            This will be caused by incumbent vendors heavily discounting their cloud offerings to try and prevent their existing on-site customers from defecting to companies such as and SugarCRM..."

            Insider Threats in the Cloud: 6 Harrowing Tales
            Dark Reading, January 13th, 2015
            "The cloud has vastly expanded the scope of rogue insiders. Read on to discover the latest threat actors and scenarios. The most widely advertised risks to data in the cloud typically focus on vulnerability to external attackers, but in private conversations security teams frequently voice concern over threats from within their own organizations.

            When you think of insider threats, you probably worry about headline-grabbing incidents in which whistle-blowers expose data to the media, as in the case of Edward Snowden..."

            Which Cloud Providers Had the Best Uptime Last Year?
            Network World, January 12th, 2015
            "Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud Platform recorded impressive statistics for how reliable their public IaaS clouds were in 2014, with both providers approaching what some consider the Holy Grail of availability: five nines.

            Flash back just to 2012 and pundits bemoaned the cloud being plagued with outages - from one that brought down Reddit and many other sites to the Christmas eve fiasco that impacted Netflix. It was a different story last year..."

            IT - CxO
            Time for CEOs to Step In and Stop CIO-CMO Bickering
            CIO, January 15th, 2015
            "Is it time for the CEO to put a stop to the juvenile bickering between the CIO and CMO? Is it time for the parent to step in and threaten to put everyone on the firing line, the corporate equivalent of a timeout? "Definitely," says Michael Broberg, vice president of consulting services in the strategic technology solutions group at Hitachi Consulting.

            The fast rise of marketing technology and, more importantly, its growing impact on sales and the customer experience, has gotten the attention of the CEO. In other words, marketing technology has become core to the success or failure of a company..."

            Are you ready to take on tomorrow's IT? Think again
            GIGAOM, January 12th, 2015
            "Let's get one thing out of the way right up front. The business of IT is very complex and getting increasingly more complex every day. It does not matter whether you are the buyer or the seller; the industry is evolving into a very different and complex beast.

            How we, as CIOs, have lead IT organizations is very different today from how it was done just 5-10 years ago. In many ways, it is easier to forget what we learned about leading IT and starting over. Of course, the leadership aspects are perennial and will always endure and grow. I wrote a bit about the evolutionary changes for the CIO in more detail with the 5 Tectonic shifts facing today's CIO. In essence, tomorrow's CIO is a business leader that also has responsibility for IT..."

            Sharpen your vendor management skills
            ComputerWorld, January 15th, 2015
            "There's a seismic shift occurring in IT shops across North America. Traditional vendor relationships are giving way to a brand-new power paradigm in which IT leaders dictate terms and conditions while vendors scramble to meet them. No longer are techie-vendor encounters limited to product pitches and service-level agreements, with minimal contact between the two parties until license renewal time..."
              IT Spending to Reach $3.8 Trillion in 2015: Gartner
              Datamation, January 12th, 2015
              "IT spending will reach $3.8 trillion in 2015, a 2.4 percent increase from last year, according to a new forecast released by market research firm Gartner today.

              Previously, Gartner had expected organizations to push the market up by 3.7 percent, but a strengthening U.S. dollar made the analyst group revisit its numbers. "The change in forecast is less dramatic than it might at first seem. The rising U.S. dollar is chiefly responsible for the change - in constant currency terms the downward revision is only 0.1 percent," said Gartner vice president John-David Lovelock, in a statement..."

              Top 5 IT Resolutions for 2015
              Business 2 Community, January 12th, 2015
              "2015 is finally here and as most of the corporate world returns to work this week, it's time for executives to come up with some New Year's Resolutions of their own. While you've no doubt (I hope) already come up with your IT budget for 2015, there are a few housekeeping items that should be on your New Year's Resolution list for your business when it comes to your technology. Drawing a blank on how to improve your situation in 2015? Here are our top 5 IT resolutions for 2015..."
                How to increase the importance of information security in enterprises
                SearchSecurity, January 15th, 2015
                "Without management support, any functional group in an enterprise is likely to fail or at least require extensive remediation and cost for errors and omissions. The security group could very well be the leader in this regard. Many overlook the importance of information security and view it as a necessary evil required by regulation, laws or oversight bodies that demand perceived higher levels of unnecessary security and controls. The same could be said of quality assurance, compliance and IT audit..."
                Questions That Result in Actionable Cost Analyses
                CIO Insight, January 16th, 2015
                "All IT organizations perform current cost analyses, but what value do they really provide? Favorable outcomes of IT cost analysis can include better decisions, accelerated decision making, changing the conversation with the business department, influencing behavior, and improving reporting by making it more efficient, according to technology business management firm Apptio. These results involve persuasion..."
                vBeers @ Boca - Biergarten - Wed January 21st
                6pm - 9pm: First vBeers@Boca of 2015
                Join us for vBeers @ Boca. We meet on the 3rd Wednesday of each month in Boca Raton, FL. The next meeting will be at Biergarten Boca, which is located in on US 1, just South of Palmetto Park and East of I-95.

                Biergarten Boca Raton

                • 309 Via De Palmas #90
                • Boca Raton, FL 33432

                This event will be sponsored by Volico Hosting. Bring 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.

                Please encourage to IT friends and colleagues to attend!

                Please register at EventBrite or

                Join us for one of the three South Florida vBeers events. The South Florida vBeers events happen three times a month, once per county:

                Details posted to vBeers South Florida LinkedIN Group.

                vBeers @ Miami - Biscayne Tavern - Wed Jan 28th
                6pm - 9pm:
                Come out and connect with other professionals in your industry! vBeers is a great event meant to promote growth of the IT industry here in South Florida. Register today so you can be a part of this great monthly event! Feel free to invite all of your friends and co workers who work in the IT industry!

                This will be a Sponsored event so beers are on us. Join us for an evening of creating connections and building your network in a relaxed and fun environment.

                There is absolutely NO SALES PITCH, just FREE ice cold beers and tech talk!

                "Meet-Ups" are an essential aspect of your professional growth and development. Connect with an array of professionals while enjoying a drink or two.

                • Location: Biscayne Tavern
                • Address: 146 Biscayne Blvd, Miami, FL 33132
                • Date: Wednesday, January 28th
                • Time: 6pm to 8pm - arrive and depart any time

                Join us for one of the three South Florida vBeers events. The South Florida vBeers events happen three times a month, once per county:

                Please register at EventBrite.

                Details posted to vBeers South Florida LinkedIN Group.

                IT - DR
                Take Business Continuity to the Cloud
                CIO, January 15th, 2015
                "Modern IT departments are under constant pressure to implement new technologies that enable the business while simultaneously keeping critical data, applications and processes secure and the network running 24 x 7.

                It's no wonder, then, that planning for business continuity and disaster recovery often takes a back seat to the day-to-day challenges of managing IT for an enterprise. But failure to prepare adequately for technological or natural disasters that disrupt the business could lead to financial disaster..."

                IT - PM
                Will IT Project Managers Join The Great Enterprise PMO Shift?
                Business 2 Community, January 16th, 2015
                "Current PMOs must prepare to transition to an EPMO model.

                Recent research on project management indicates that the field is about to enter the spotlight. Once an isolated function, project management is quickly being elevated in strategic importance. According to analyst firm Gartner, by 2017 senior executives in the largest organizations in America will rely on enterprise program management offices (EPMOs) to execute projects in alignment with overall business strategy..."

                Future of Information Development Design Jam
                February 5th at Oracle Headquarters
                Mindi Cummins writes, "The events just keep on coming! Next stop - Future of Information Development Design Jam. On February 5th at Oracle Headquarters, we will host an all day design jam to explore how we can be better positioned for information consumption for the future user.

                Long gone are the big, dust-collecting manuals that filled desks and bookshelves. Marketing and training collateral are pushed to the user in the form of text or videos based on subscriptions and interests. People are listening to information in podcasts at the gym or on their commute. Information now is built into the application with inline messaging or online help. There's no shortage of content, but finding it or getting it into the right user's hands is a challenge. What is the expectation for the future?..."

                Webcast: Zero to Manageability in One Hour - Jan 21st 10am PST
                Build a Solid Foundation for Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c
                "The goal in every Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c rollout is to take it from zero to manageability in the shortest possible time. This presentation will show you how to accomplish this feat. Oracle experts will demonstrate how to properly architect and deploy Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c, including designing a highly available and scalable environment. Through this demonstration a list of essential techniques and tips compiled from Oracle Enterprise Manager Development's Strategic Customer Programs team will also be shared. Topics such as; users, roles, groups, templates, and incidents will be discussed, plus key architectural decisions...'
                IT - Networks
                5 predictions for software-defined networking in 2015
                Information Age, January 12th, 2015
                "As businesses increasingly demand more agile and flexible IT services, the network has become a focal point for innovation.

                Adoption of the cloud, mobility and big data technologies is on the increase, leading the IT department to address how they can best support these developing trends whilst benefitting the customer and employee experience.

                One approach that technology decision makers are considering is the adoption of a software-defined network (SDN) to provide a faster, more agile and scalable infrastructure..."

                IT - Linux
                Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit To Focus On Drones, IoT And SDN
                EFYTimes, January 12th, 2015
                "Linux Foundation's Collaboration Summit is starting in a month from now and buzz is on about this much-talked about even, across the globe. The main topics of discussion on the cards are drones, Internet of Things (IoT) and software-defined networking or SDN.

                All these major topics will set the tone how open source technologies will be evolved throughout 2015. Several keynote speakers have been lined up for the summit and panel discussions have also been scheduled. CEO of 3D Robotics will deliver a keynote address on the Dronecode project. This project will build open source code which will power drones. These drones include all those which have been launched during this fall..."

                Linux Investments Looking Up for 2015
                ChannelInsider, January 15th, 2015
                "Now that Linux has essentially gained parity with Windows across the enterprise, solution providers have a vested interest in where customers who will make use of the open-source platform in 2015 are headed. In a new survey of 115 customers, Red Hat finds that, in general, optimism concerning IT spending in 2015 is relatively high with investments in mobile computing and big data topping the priority list. Just over half those customers are planning new application deployments on Linux..."
                Why 2015 is the year of Linux on the everything-but-desktop
                PCWorld, January 14th, 2015
                "Linus Torvalds may still want Linux on the desktop, but all the open-source action is happening elsewhere. Wandering around at CES 2015 last week, it struck me: Linux was everywhere.

                No, the familiar Tux logo wasn't stamped on any product and few people uttered the word 'Linux,' but it was there, right under the surface. Sure, Intel's Compute Stick offers an Ubuntu version - but that was just the tip of the iceberg. You just had to know where to look..."

                Why You Should (or Shouldn't) Switch to Each Leading Linux Desktop
                Datamation, January 12th, 2015
                "The perfect desktop is undoubtedly the one you would design yourself. However, lacking the necessary time and expertise, many users hop instead from desktop to desktop desktop with the same enthusiasm as others hop between distros, hoping to find the ideal distribution.

                In many cases, they never find their ideal, and for good reason -- even the simplest Linux desktop is a mixture of advantages and disadvantages.

                Here, for example, are some core reasons for both accepting and rejecting the seven leading desktops of today:.."

                Fedora 21 review: Linux's sprawliest distro finds a new focus
                Ars Technica, January 16th, 2015
                "Like most Linux distros, Fedora is a massive, sprawling project. Frankly, it's sprawl-y to the point that it has felt unfocused and a bit lost at times. Just what is Fedora? The distro has served as a kind of showcase for GNOME 3 ever since GNOME 3 hit the beta stage.

                So Fedora in theory is meant to target everyday users, but at the same time the project pours tremendous energy into building developer tools like DevAssistant. Does that make Fedora a developer distro? A newbie-friendly GNOME showcase? A server distro? An obscure robotics distro?.."

                9 Linux Distros to Watch in 2015
                CIO, January 12th, 2015
                "Predictions are fun. We all enjoy tech predictions at the beginning of each year. This isn't that. This is a list of the nine Linux Distributions that I feel will be the most interesting to watch during 2015. We're talking both desktop and mobile here because, let's face it, Linux is everywhere. (Note: I say these will be the most "interesting to watch," not necessarily the best or the highest quality. Just the most interesting and entertaining to keep tabs on.)..."
                IT - Operations
                4 Steps to a Successful Data Center Migration
                Data Center Knowledge, January 15th, 2015
                "As companies undergo mergers and acquisitions, on-premise facilities continue to age, and consolidation mandates are handed down, the need arises to migrate data center equipment to new facilities.

                Whether you colocate or choose the best equipment for a consolidated, company-owned data center, moving IT equipment and workloads between sites is a time-consuming and potentially costly endeavor. These best practices will help plan for data center migrations..."

                  Preparing for the Data Center of the Future
                  Data Center Knowledge, January 13th, 2015
                  "Data center operators are under more pressure than ever to provide the fastest, most reliable data possible while balancing demands for higher computing power and efficiency. Meanwhile, their use of virtualization, cloud architectures, and security techniques, as well as software-defined networking and storage has given rise to increasingly complex environments.

                  Given this already challenging environment, the term 'future-proofing' is often chalked up to vendor-speak, meant to scare customers into buying oversized equipment for just-in-case scenarios that may actually never happen..."

                  IT - Security
                  Who's calling, please?
                  ComputerWorld, January 15th, 2015
                  "Some security weaknesses can't be found with a scan or a vulnerability assessment of the infrastructure. As a security manager, you have to keep your eyes open for things that aren't as secure as they should be, based on any evidence that comes your way. That happened to me a few weeks ago, in just about the best way possible. We were able to take steps to tighten security in a particular area after an incident that could have been damaging but actually wasn't. I wish all our security lessons could be so benign.

                  Here's the story..."

                  7 Security Buzzwords that Need to Be Put to Rest
                  CSO Online, January 14th, 2015
                  "Every industry has its own buzzwords that often cause confusion in creating multiple meanings. It used to be your network should be like candy with a hard shell and soft gooey inside. That catch phrase was bandied about at every technology conference for a while. With help from fellow CSO writers, here are a few more phrases that need to be eliminated..."
                    Cybersecurity training needed to raise number of skilled workers
                    SearchSecurity, January 15th, 2015
                    "A survey by ESG finds that IT has an ongoing problematic shortage of enterprise cybersecurity skills, and the problem is getting worse.

                    The ongoing shortage of skilled cybersecurity professionals is hardly a secret, but new research indicates that shortage is getting worse. Cybersecurity skills are in demand; but unfortunately, they are also apparently in short supply..."

                      Cybersecurity training needed to raise number of skilled workersHow to Deal Intelligently With Data Breaches
                      CIO Insight, January 12th, 2015
                      "Organizations need to plan, rehearse and modify their security protection on a continuous basis, to see what they are doing well and how they can do better.

                      Data breaches are happening with greater frequency and are compromising larger volumes of data than ever before. As data breaches continue, and the number of compromised records grows, organizations are being subjected to stronger financial penalties, greater legislative and regulatory scrutiny, and tangible reputational damage. For organizations that suffer an incident, responding in an intelligent and confident manner is essential..."

                      People Do Not Trust E-Signatures
                      Business 2 Community, January 16th, 2015
                      "There's a good chance that your emails have some kind of signature at the bottom, including perhaps a scanned image of your actual signature. It makes it look as though you have actually 'signed' the email you are sending to people. Of course, everyone who gets an email from you knows that you haven't actually signed the message, but it is a nice thought.

                      The whole notion of 'signing' things electronically is commonplace. Indeed you are asked to 'sign' contracts for all manner of online services you use, simply by saying 'I agree' or ticking a box 'Yes' to confirm something. Corporate lawyers perceive this as being a signed agreement.

                      The trouble is, the rest of us do not..."

                        Security bug Heartbleed may be forgotten, but it's not gone
                        VentureBeat, January 16th, 2015
                        "When the Heartbleed vulnerability made headlines last spring, Internet companies went into a frenzy: Creating patches, moving away from OpenSSL, and warning users to reset their passwords.

                        But while we haven't heard much about it lately - and many servers have been updated to avoid it - Heartbleed is still very much a problem.

                        The problem is that OpenSSL is in everything..."

                        Preview of 2015 Verizon PCI report hints at firewall compliance issues
                        SearchSecurity, January 16th, 2015
                        "The 2015 Verizon PCI Report won't be revealed until next month, but in a sneak preview this week, the managed IT services giant hinted at two key problem areas that cause merchants to fall out of PCI DSS compliance.

                        During a press event Monday at the National Retail Federation conference, Verizon provided a glimpse at what's to come in its eagerly awaited annual report, which will analyze the findings from thousands of PCI DSS compliance assessments conducted by Verizon Enterprise Solutions during the past three years..."

                        Insider Threat, Shadow IT Concerns Spur Cloud Security
                        Dark Reading, January 12th, 2015
                        "As security professional prioritize for 2015, cloud security initiatives once again sit on top of their to-do lists. According to two surveys out in the past week, insider threat and shadow IT concerns continue to thrust cloud security to the forefront, with cloud identity and access management and cloud governance among those controls needing the most help..."
                        Only 8 percent of companies can track shadow IT
                        CSO Online, January 12th, 2015
                        "Only 8 percent of companies know the scope of shadow IT at their organizations, according to a new survey by the Cloud Security Alliance.

                        "The low awareness of shadow IT was not a surprise," said Jim Reavis, CEO of the Cloud Security Alliance. "Anecdotally, that's what we've heard."

                        In addition, when the CSA does egress monitoring, it usually finds the companies underestimate their use of cloud services by a factor of eight..."

                        Cost of Breach Vs. Cost of Deployment
                        Help Net Security, January 14th, 2015
                        "In security terms, 2014 read like a who's who of data breaches. Huge, global companies like Target, eBay and Coca-Cola have succumbed to data loss. Public services like the US Postal Service have also been left exposed. Others do not want to follow suit in 2015.

                        There's no question that significant investment would have been made to support these companies' security strategies, but all of them fell short in some way. And at what cost?..."

                        Anatomy Of a 'Cyber-Physical' Attack
                        Dark Reading, January 14th, 2015
                        "The real threat to a power or manufacturing plant isn't the latest vulnerability or malware variant.

                        "If you only consider hackers, you don't have to be concerned that much. They won't be able to take down a power grid or blow up chemical facilities," says Ralph Langer, founder of Langner Communications and a top Stuxnet expert. The danger is when attackers have an understanding of the physical and engineering aspects of the plant or site they are targeting, he says..."

                          Sony Hack: Never Underestimate the Stupidity of Criminals
                          ComputerWorld, January 14th, 2015
                          "So who was really behind the Sony hack? And does it really matter?

                          We've certainly seen some amazing ups and downs in our efforts to answer the first question. Initially, everyone fixated on the previously unknown, Anonymous-like hacker group Guardians of Peace, which took credit for the hack. Then the media began speculating that the hack had something to do with the movie The Interview..."

                            IT - Careers
                            Remote Working ... I Say Yes
                            Business 2 Community, January 13th, 2015
                            "Raise your hand if you would love to wake up and walk 10 feet and arrive at work!

                            Well this is exactly what I do every morning. My office is located 10ft from my bed. It's a blessing and a curse. No seriously it is truly a blessing.

                            I spent over 15 years working away from home. Prior to becoming an entrepreneur, I worked at least 60 hours per week and this time did not include the 164-mile commute that I took twice a week to my other location. I longed for the day when I could work remotely. The wear and tear on my body and my vehicle was significant..."

                              15 Ways to Screw Up a Job Interview
                              CIO, January 12th, 2015
                              "IT hiring is on the rise again. And with demand oustripping supply, IT professionals with particularly hot skills might find themselves overwhelmed by opportunities - and inundated with job interviews. But just because companies seem to be vying for someone with your skills and capabilities doesn't mean you can get too casual about the interview.

                              'I see clients being pretty picky about finding solid all-star employees vs. showing any leeway due to more demand,' says Courtney Bettridge, technology recruiter at Mondo. 'Candidates need to show they're truly interested and engaged, or they won't get the job.'

                                Top 5 in-demand IT skills in 2015
                                Information Age, January 13th, 2015
                                "With technology increasingly converging into other sectors, firms are realising that they need to source specialists in order to meet the growing demand for digital technology.

                                However, with a well-documented shortage of available talent, hiring is not as easy as it may initially seem, particularly when many firms do not seem to prioritise long-term workforce planning. So with this in mind, where are the main skills demands for IT talent going to be in 2015?..."

                                  9 Reasons Your Employees Are Unhappy
                                  CIO, January 16th, 2015
                                  "There's a disturbing trend in the American workplace: Employers don't understand what motivates and satisfies their employees, and that leads to poor performance, disengagement and high turnover rates, according to the 2014 American Employee Study.

                                  Not only that, but employers are not doing nearly enough to rectify the situation..."

                                  Why is Being a Programmer a Good Career Choice?
                                  Business 2 Community, January 16th, 2015
                                  "In the United States, Europe, the United Kingdom, and even globally, demand for programmers is increasing at a rate faster than the world can produce them. As the technology age continues to advance, this is a trend that is unlikely to reverse or even slow down anytime soon. Which is why, for those lucky enough to have chosen a career in programming, the future is bright and looks to get brighter - here's how..."
                                    3 Tips for Minding the IT Skills Gap
                                    Information Week, January 14th, 2015
                                    "In the digital enterprise, CIOs must help IT staffers expand their abilities and value soft skills as much as tech acumen. It's an exciting yet challenging time to be an enterprise CIO. Technology is evolving at breakneck pace, and with each change comes new possibilities for how IT can deliver value to the broader organization.

                                    But amid the Internet of things, big data, cloud computing, and so on, many CIOs are quietly worried that they aren't prepared to maintain an IT workforce with all the skills necessary to transition to a fully "digital enterprise." ..."

                                    5 Ways to Give IT Recognition
                                    CIO, January 12th, 2015
                                    "We all like to know that our efforts are appreciated. For people working in IT, recognition is too often neglected, simply because so much of what IT workers do is behind the scenes and goes unnoticed by the majority of employees.

                                    Click through to see five things that Paul Ingevaldson, author of "The 9 1/2 Secrets of a Great IT Organization", did when he was the CIO at Ace Hardware that cost little to nothing and that you can implement today..."

                                    IT - Social Media
                                    Social Media Engagement Is Dead - 2015 Is About Measurable Goals
                                    CIO, January 14th, 2015
                                    "A focus on social media engagement metrics - the likes, re-tweets, favorites, re-blogs, pins, comments, shares, followers, fans and friends - could be holding companies back from realizing social's full potential. In fact, Forrester Vice President and Principal Analyst Nate Elliott warns clients against measuring social engagement..."
                                      IT - Virtualization
                                      Xen 4.5 Boosts Virtualization Security
                                      eWeek, January 15th, 2015
                                      "The open-source Xen virtualization hypervisor project is out today with a major milestone update providing improved performance and enhanced security features. The Xen Project is managed as a Linux Foundation Collaboration project initiative and has multiple stakeholders, including Intel, Citrix, Amazon and Rackspace.

                                      Among the new features in the Xen 4.5 update are capabilities aimed at reducing the impact of the so-called "noisy neighbor" issue in multitenant cloud and data center environments..."

                                      Container wars
                                      IT World, January 14th, 2015
                                      "A year ago if you asked most system administrators what they would do with a container, chances are you'd get a blank look. That was then. This is now.

                                      Container technology, and Docker in particular, is hotter than hot. Even while it was still in beta, Fortune 500 companies were starting to "containerize" their server, data center, and cloud applications with Docker. Indeed, James Turnbull, Docker's VP of services and support, said that before Docker 1.0 was even released, three major banks were already moving it into production..."

                                      Gartner Gives Thumbs Up To Docker Security
                                      Information Week, January 14th, 2015
                                      "Docker containers isolate resources similar to Linux or virtual machine hypervisors, but fall short with management and administration, Gartner analyst says.

                                      The logical resource boundaries established in Docker containers are almost as secure as those established by the Linux operating system or by a virtual machine, according to a report by Gartner analyst Joerg Fritsch..."

                                      IT - Backup
                                      Data Protection Trends 2015
                                      Datamation, January 14th, 2015
                                      " 'Data protection' is a big topic with many subsets. Breaking it down to the data center level generates three major DP domains: data loss prevention (DLP), storage system recovery, and data security. We'll take a high-level look at major technology trends from each of these domains..."
                                      IT - Big Data
                                      Tips on Successfully Using Big Data
                                      Business 2 Community, January 13th, 2015
                                      "Big data is a common term for the collection of data from a company's internal and external sources which allows marketers to make generalizations and predict upcoming trends in their industry. The concept of 'big data' has been around for a very long time, and being able to utilize it properly has become more important then ever in giving companies an edge over their competition. While the sheer amount of data being collected may prove overwhelming at first, by following a few tips in dealing with this massive amount of information, companies can be more successful in their use of big data..."
                                      A tale of two retailers profiting from big data
                                      SearchCIO, January 14th, 2015
                                      "Etsy Inc., an online marketplace for vintage and handmade products, could be described as a grand experiment, at least when it comes to big data and analytics. "We're a continuous delivery shop," Nellwyn Thomas, director of analytics at Etsy, said. "Instead of pushing code once every week, two weeks or three months, we push code multiple times a day."

                                      Some of that code is for A/B testing, which exposes one group of customers to site tweaks and new features while leaving others alone..."

                                      Big data is simply another name for complicated business intelligence
                                      InfoWorld, January 13th, 2015
                                      "Big data vendors like Cloudera talk about how Hadoop and other technologies "democratize data" for users. One way they do this, Cloudera's Justin Kestelyn insists, is by giving data analysts plenty of ways to access data: "Analysts can use BI tools, SAS, SQL command line, or even free-text search to access Hadoop now. Many options for all kinds of users."

                                      Well, sort of -- really what Kestelyn showcases is "many options for a certain class of user."

                                      Data Acceleration: Turning Technology Into Solutions
                                      Information Management, January 12th, 2015
                                      "In September, I described a range of components that are crucial to building a high-speed data architecture, such as big data platforms, complex event processing, ingestion, in-memory databases, cache clusters and appliances. These components cannot function in isolation.

                                      In this article, I outline four fundamental combinations of these components to create solutions that enable data movement, processing and interactivity at high speed..."

                                      IT - Mobile
                                      6 Reasons Mobile Apps Are Here to Stay
                                      Business 2 Community, January 17th, 2015
                                      "In the world of technology, the challenge many small businesses face is adaptation. If you adapt too early, you forego the benefits of having others experiment with errors and flaws in your place. If you adapt too late, you risk entering at the end of a fading technology.

                                      It was the former that kept businesses from entering the competitive mobile application marketplace five years ago, but it's the latter that worries organizations today. The good news? Apps are here to stay..."

                                        Wearables Will Increase Enterprise Risks
                                        CIO Insight, January 12th, 2015
                                        "The benefits of the Internet of things (IoT), including wearable devices, outweigh the risks they pose to enterprise, according to a new study, but consumer interest in wearable devices will create complications in the workplace.

                                        The survey results appear in the "ISACA 2014 IT Risk/Reward Barometer" report. Most IT professionals who responded to the survey said that bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies are not ready to incorporate bring-your-own-wearable (BYOW)..."

                                        Don't Overlook Mobile Devices in Security Assessments
                                        StateTech, January 15th, 2015
                                        "Most governments know the importance of conducting vulnerability assessments on a regular basis to baseline the current state of IT security. But many haven't yet updated their security auditing practices to take into account the wide variety of mobile devices in use. This leaves a critical gap in vulnerability assessment results because of all the breaches and exploitations that occur through mobile devices..."
                                        Microsoft's Last Chance To Convince The World That Windows Still Matters
                                        Business Insider, January 15th, 2015
                                        "Microsoft will show off Windows 10, the next version of its decades-old operating system.

                                        There's a lot at stake. This may be Microsoft's last chance to prove to the world that Windows still matters.

                                        A decade ago more than 90% of devices on the internet ran Windows. With the rise of smartphones, and tablets running smartphone operating systems like iOS and Android, that number is down to 15 percent..."

                                        2015 Mobile Security Survival Guide
                                        CIO, January 12th, 2015
                                        "Security risks and data breaches are growing while the form factors of computing devices shrink - because much enterprise data today is created and consumed on mobile devices. This clearly explains why mobile security persistently tops the list of most pressing enterprise security concerns.

                                        Currently, most of the mobile security in place is in the form of Mobile Devices Management (MDM) tools that provide such capabilities as device asset management, secure browsing, application whitelisting, data loss prevention, mobile VPN, app-level VPN and many more..."

                                        IT - BYOD
                                        For BYOD, Money Changes Everything
                                        CIO, January 13th, 2015
                                        "You can't blame employees for wanting to be paid for using their personal phones and tablets for work. And it's understandable that companies don't want to subsidize personal use. Who foots the bill for BYOD phones has turned into a divisive issue. But that may be changing..."
                                        BYOD: Three Lessons for Mitigating Network Security Risks in 2015
                                        Risk Management Monitor, January 12th, 2015
                                        "Not too long ago, organizations fell into one of two camps when it came to personal mobile devices in the workplace - these devices were either connected to their networks or they weren't.

                                        But times have changed. Mobile devices have become so ubiquitous that every business has to acknowledge that employees will connect their personal devices to the corporate network, whether there's a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policy in place or not. So really, those two camps we mentioned earlier have evolved - the devices are a given, and now, it's just a question of whether or not you choose to regulate them.

                                        This decision has significant implications for network security..."

                                        Top Ten Articles for last few Issues
                                        Vol 203 Issue 1; Vol 202 Issues 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5; Vol 201 Issues 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 Web Start in or out of the browser
                                        • 15 Unix tricks to get your new year off to a good start
                                        • Best Practices for Oracle Solaris Kernel Zones
                                        • The best software for Linux
                                        • Review: The big 4 Java IDEs compared
                                        • What's up with LDoms
                                        • University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston Transforms Talent Management Processes
                                        • Learn MySQL Performance Tuning From the Experts
                                        • FLUX Meeting @ NSU - Red Hat Update - Thursday January 15th
                                        • vBeers @ Broward - Funky Buddha - Wed January, 14th

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

                                          IT - Tape
                                          Still Loving Tape in 2015
                                , January 17th, 2015
                                          "Regular readers of this blog know probably too well my long standing affection for tape technology. I know. I know. Cloud (mostly disk-based) storage is getting pretty cheap as the price wars between the industrial farmers in the cloud - Google, AWS and Microsoft - continue to exert downward pressure. That's all good, until it goes pear-shaped for one of the aforementioned providers. When profit-free quarters fail to impress shareholders, there will be an adjustment. And all of the little guys that source their cloudy storage from the big vendors will hit a wall..."
                                          The Internet of Things Will Be Huge, Is Your IT Infrastructure Ready to Support It?
                                          How can you prepare?
                                          "IDC predicts that the worldwide IoT market will grow from $1.3 trillion in 2013 to $3.04 trillion in 2020 (1). IDC also states that within three years, 50% of IT networks will transition from having excess capacity to handle the additional IoT devices to being network constrained. (2)

                                          As further evidence, analyst firm 451 Research reported an increase in M&A spending in 2014 that pushed 'Internet of Things'-related deal-making past the $14bn mark, a fortyfold increase in acquirer spending compared to 2013. (3)

                                          This rate of growth cannot be ignored...."

                                          6 excellent open source network monitoring tools
                                          IT World Canada, January 13th, 2015
                                          There is no shortage of tools that track and monitor the wellbeing of an organizations network and systems.

                                          The choices range from solutions that watch over the operation of applications, network equipment and servers to tools that track the performance of systems and devices.

                                          There are tools that notify users when problems occur as well as when problems have been solved. And others are very good at spotting just about anything out of the ordinary or providing analysis of trends. Here's a short list of some of the open sources choices out in the market:

                                          • Cacti
                                          • Collectd
                                          • Gaglia
                                          • Icinga
                                          • Munin
                                          • Nagios

                                          Read on for details.

                                          34% of Organizations Say Data Breach 'Somewhat likely' to 'Inevitable' in 2015
                                          By Troy Kitch
                                          Troy writes, "According to the latest Independent Oracle Users Group (IOUG) Enterprise Data Security Survey, one third of organizations say that a data breach is "somewhat likely" to "inevitable" in the next 12 months, up from 20% in 2008.

                                          Are organizations coming to the realization that data breaches will happen?..."

                                          The Future of User Authentication
                                          By Prateek Mishra
                                          Prateek Mishra writes, "As business and citizen services, entertainment and social life all become digitized and virtualized, passwords emerge as a key piece of data to be used for stealing information and online resources. In the past, this was a possibility and an occasional occurrence but in recent years the Apple Celebrity Photo breach [1], JPMorgan [2] and Pharmaceutical Company [3] data breaches have demonstrated the increasing scale and range of password-based threats to businesses. It is interesting to observe that each of these three breaches demonstrates a *different aspect* of the "password problem": ability to guess or reset passwords, password re-use and subsequent discovery from a website with weak security controls, and last, phishing attacks targeted at executives or administrators..."
                                          Nexenta News
                                          A Converged Appliance for Software-Defined VDI
                                          Citrix XenDesktop 7.6 on Citrix XenServer and NexentaStor
                                          A converged appliance delivers scalable, reliable VDI while saving money and administrative effort.

                                          Companies are virtualizing their desktop environments to improve security, increase workforce flexibility, and simplify desktop and application management. For small and medium companies, however, the cost of the backend infrastructure for virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) remains an obstacle to adoption.

                                          Software-defined storage can help solve this challenge by providing a cost effective storage solution that delivers performance and scalability for future growth.

                                          This paper describes a converged VDI appliance - based on Citrix XenDesktop, Citrix XenServer, NexentaStor Software-Defined Storage, and industry-standard x86 servers with local storage and reveals how it performed in tests of scalability and reliability

                                          White Paper

                                          Citrix and Nexenta Deliver Flexible and Cost-efficient Software-Defined Approach to VDI
                                          By Michael Letschin, Director of Product Management, Solutions
                                          Michael writes, "We had a great time at Citrix Summit 2015 and had a chance to talk to partners about our new converged infrastructure validated solution stack for VDI workloads using Citrix XenServer, XenDesktop and NexentaStor.

                                          Available as an industry standard x86 architecture, this economically viable, converged and integrated solution is geared for small and mid-sized businesses that are looking to embrace and benefit from the security and efficiencies of desktop virtualization and Software-Defined Storage. NexentaStor brings dramatic economic benefits through substantially higher performance, lower cost per terabyte and a pre-integrated converged infrastructure stack based on Citrix XenDesktop MCS..."

                                          Nexenta Selected by Leading European Engineering Company to Revitalize its IT Systems
                                          Goodtech is a leading Nordics-based technology and engineering company
                                          Working with Layer 8 IT-Services, the Sustainable Engineering Company Recognized the Economic Benefits of Implementing a Software-Defined Storage Platform

                                          Nexenta announced that Goodtech, a leading Nordics-based technology and engineering company dedicated to renewing and developing important public functions, has implemented Nexenta's highly available SDS solution to underpin its IT systems.

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                                          Vol 235, Issue 2
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