IT News and Events
Jul 28th, 2019 — Aug 4th, 2019 Generate the Custom HTML Email for this Issue
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Volume 256, Issue 5 << Previous Issue | Next Issue >>
IT News - CxO
What IT Work Will Look Like In 2030
Automation and AI are poised to shake up IT. Early indications suggest a greater emphasis on cross-functional teams, deeper partnerships between AI and IT staff, and deep cuts to middle management
"Predicting the future of work is notoriously risky business if only because disruptive technology shakes up the picture like an Etch a Sketch," writes Paul Heltzel in CIO.

"Looking past a year or two is difficult and suggesting what will happen a decade from now is uncertain at best. But for those who make their living looking ahead at technology trends, some broad, common themes begin to emerge - beginning with the impact of AI and automation..."

CIO, July 22nd, 2019
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How To Explain Edge Computing In Plain English
What is edge computing? How does it relate to cloud computing?
"We cut through the confusion and help you explain this term, even to non-technical audiences..."

Stephanie Overby writes in The Enterprisers Project, "Edge computing is already in use all around us - from the wearable on your wrist to the computers parsing intersection traffic flow. Other examples include smart utility grid analysis, safety monitoring of oil rigs, streaming video optimization, and drone-enabled crop management..."

The Enterprisers Project, July 22nd, 2019
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7 Ways To Keep Up With Emerging Tech: CIO Tips
CIOs must keep an eye on tech trends on the horizon at all times. Learn their tips for staying current
Carla Rudder writes in The Enterprisers Project, "It's fun to think about the future of technology. We binge shows like 'Black Mirror,' a series known for the fascinating - and sometimes disturbing - technologies at the center of each episode. We stream and share online videos with dancing robots and rocket ships designed for leisure travel.

But it's not all entertainment for CIOs. Keeping up with emerging technologies is part of the job. Shifting business priorities, constant competitive pressure, and endless vendor pitches don't make that job any easier..."

The Enterprisers Project, July 25th, 2019
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4 Hard Truths For IT Leaders, From A Coder Turned CTO
A CTO shares four lessons that surprised him in his journey from developer to manager of IT teams. Consider this advice
"After many years of living and breathing code, I gradually worked my way to leadership positions at various startups and enterprise software companies. I've led teams from just two people to hundreds around the globe," recalls Mike Duensing in The Enterprisers Project.

"Being a software engineer didn't automatically make me a successful manager of engineering teams. I had to deal with obstacles and challenge my own expectations to learn how to not only get the best from my employees but also ensure their satisfaction at work..."

The Enterprisers Project, July 26th, 2019
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Portrait Of A CISO: Roles And Responsibilities
Success in the role of CISO requires security experts to wear many hats. Couple that with changes in compliance regulations and sophisticated cyberthreats, and CISOs are left with a full plate
"The chief information security officer role was created in recognition of increasing and evolving threats to enterprise data and information security," writes Katie Donegan in SearchSecurity.

"This executive manager is in charge of operations, strategy and budget for the organization's security infrastructure and assets. CISOs serve as advisors to the board of directors on security issues, threats and regulatory compliance measures. In addition to advising other executives, a CISO reports to customers and shareholders as well. Employees within an organization look to the CISO for security awareness training and assurance that their leadership focuses on improving security posture..."

SearchSecurity, July 23rd, 2019
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IT News - CRM
Boost Your CRM With IaaS
CRM systems are the lifeblood of many businesses, and the volume of customer data within them keeps growing as companies digitize more processes
"That data often is not being used to its full potential, beyond basic reporting on sales metrics and marketing campaigns," writes Eran Gil in CRMBuyer.

"With the advent of mainstream machine learning and artificial intelligence technologies, this is all changing, and quickly. There is now a bevy of third-party machine learning systems that can hook into your CRM.

Machine learning can bring great business value to CRM users today in a number of scenarios. Intelligent algorithms can analyze website visits and produce faster, more accurate lead scores.

True personalized marketing is possible by matching the most appropriate content and offers to prospective buyers in seconds..."

CRMBuyer, July 24th, 2019
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The Top 6 CRMs With The Best Reporting Features
Tracking your contacts and conversations aren't the only tasks a CRM is good for
"If you choose the right one, it can save you a ton of time on analyzing your sales numbers and creating your financial forecasts for the future," notes Cody Slingerland in Nutshell.

"A study by IBM found that being able to consolidate sales data was one of the top four most important features that businesses wanted out of a CRM.

But not all CRMs are built the same. Some CRMs offer better reporting features than others, so choosing the right CRM can impact everything from your sales process to your productivity.

We've found the top six CRMs based on their reporting features. Let's dive in..."

Nutshell, July 23rd, 2019
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IT News - Security
The 6 Best Password Managers
Look to these top password managers for Windows, MacOS, iOS and Android to make your online life easier and more secure
"One of the smartest moves you can make to protect yourself online is to use a password manager. It's one of the easiest, too. We'll help you find the best password manager for you," offers Tim Ferrill in CSO Online.

"A properly designed password manager is an excellent first step in securing your online identity. It can create a unique strong password for every account and application, without requiring you to memorize or write down these random strings of characters. These strong passwords help shield against traditional password attacks such as dictionary, rainbow tables or brute-force attacks and makes them convenient to use even if you don't have a photographic memory..."

CSO Online, July 23rd, 2019
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31 Hardware And Firmware Vulnerabilities: A Guide To The Threats
Meltdown and Spectre raised the alarm over vulnerabilities that attackers can exploit in popular hardware and its firmware. Here's a roundup of the ones that present the most significant threats
"In January 2018, the entire computer industry was put on alert by two new processor vulnerabilities dubbed Meltdown and Spectre that defeated the fundamental OS security boundaries separating kernel and user space memory," warns Lucian Constantin in CSO Online.

"The flaws stemmed from a performance feature of modern CPUs known as speculative execution and mitigating them required one of the biggest patch coordination efforts in history, involving CPU makers, device manufacturers and operating system vendors..."

CSO Online, July 23rd, 2019
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IT News - Storage
Your Next SSD Might Be Slower (Thanks To QLC Flash)
Newer isn't always better. Recently, SSD manufacturers have begun to trade off speed and reliability
"Here's the issue," writes Anthony Heddings in How-To Geek. "Making SSDs is expensive, and few people want to pay $200 for a 512 GB SSD when you can get '2000 GB' mechanical hard drives for less than $50. Bigger capacities sell.

SSD manufacturers are increasing storage capacities while keeping costs down - but this is bad for performance and endurance. Large SSDs may be getting cheaper, but there's a tradeoff for each leap in SSD technology. We're currently seeing the rise of Quad Level Cell (QLC) SSDs, which can store 4 bits of information per memory cell. QLC hasn't replaced standard SSDs completely, but a few drives using it have made their way to the market, and they've got problems..."

How-To Geek, July 22nd, 2019
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What's The Future Of NVMe Storage In The Data Center?
As the NVMe market matures, adopters are gaining new capabilities and options for where and how to use the technology. See what industry experts have to say
"NVMe SSD technology has come a long way over the past several years, " recalls John Edwards in SearchStorage, "helping a growing number of enterprises address the storage requirements of increasingly demanding applications.

Recent trends around NVMe include the introduction of NVMe-oF, an emerging technology that's extending NVMe's performance and economies across the data center, and the increasing use of NVMe for specialized, storage-demanding applications, such as AI. Looking at the future of NVMe storage, both of those trends will play a significant role..."

SearchStorage, July 24th, 2019
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How Do SSDs Work?
Here at ExtremeTech, we've often discussed the difference between different types of NAND structures - vertical NAND versus planar, or multi-level cell (MLC) versus triple-level cells (TLC) and quad-level cells (QLC)
"Now, let's talk about the more basic relevant question: How do SSDs work in the first place, and how do they compare with newer technologies, like Intel's non-volatile storage technology, Optane?"

Joel Hruska writes in ExtremeTech, "To understand how and why SSDs are different from spinning discs, we need to talk a little bit about hard drives. A hard drive stores data on a series of spinning magnetic disks called platters. There's an actuator arm with read/write heads attached to it. This arm positions the read-write heads over the correct area of the drive to read or write information..."

ExtremeTech, July 22nd, 2019
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IT News - AI
AI's Third Wave: Less Science Fiction, More Focus On Customer Problems
In the past, artificial intelligence projects often tried to boil the ocean. Today's AI projects focus much more on specific customer experience issues. But will the shiny, transformative future ever arrive?
Gordon Haff writes in The Enterprisers Project, "The futurist Roy Amara is best remembered for an adage he coined, which became known as Amara's Law: 'We tend to overestimate the effect of a technology in the short run and underestimate the effect in the long run.'

The intermodal shipping container is as good an example as any. The first international standard for containers was established in 1933, and they were aggressively promoted by Malcom McLean, in particular, starting in 1955. But containers didn't start to really revolutionize shipping until the 1970s..."

The Enterprisers Project, July 23rd, 2019
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The Singularity Is Nearer: Microsoft Places $1 Billion Bet On Artificial General Intelligence
A general AI capability will be able to draw on learned skills and combine them in the way that humans would do
Michael Feldman writes in The Next Platform, "Microsoft is investing $1 billion in AI research company OpenAI to build a set of technologies that can deliver artificial general intelligence (AGI). The multiyear joint effort aims to construct a supercomputing capability in Azure that provides developers a platform for building AGI applications and delivering them to the public..."
The Next Platform, July 26th, 2019
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AI's Top Use Cases Today
Enterprises are undertaking AI pilots and putting artificial intelligence into production. Here's where leading organizations are placing their bets - and seeing early results
"IT-related use cases such as IT automation, quality control, and cybersecurity are among the most popular uses of AI technology," opines Maria Korolov in CIO.

"But that will change, experts say, as the technology improves, gets easier to use, and proves to be useful to the bottom line.

Here is a look at where early explorers of AI's potential are undertaking pilots and putting artificial intelligence into production..."

CIO, July 24th, 2019
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Machine Learning Platform Architecture Demands Deep Analysis
To reach full analytics potential, machine learning platforms powered by AI must provide scalability, handle multiple models, integrate with data sources and be cloud-friendly
"Evidence is mounting that AI is moving out of the shadows of predominantly niche applications and into the mainstream spotlight," opines Maria Korolov in SearchEnterpriseAI.

"And as companies transition from proof-of-concept pilots and individual use cases to broader, enterprise-wide AI strategies, the machine learning platforms at the heart of many of those strategies often change as well..."

SearchEnterpriseAI, July 25th, 2019
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IT News - Blockchain
Blockchain Is Finally Becoming The Next-Gen Database Of Choice
When I think of why we need a blockchain, I think of one guy
Will Martino writes in VentureBeat, "There was a dev we had hired to build a few important parts of our product for us. A few years previously, in another life, he had been hosting his own servers and one of them crashed. He was telling me this with tears in his eyes: The database, a massive mess full of customer data, point-of-sale info, and inventory information had gone up in smoke. The backups were hosed, as well. And there was no way to rewind the data..."
VentureBeat, July 27th, 2019
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IT News - Humor
Spiked Punch
For the love of troubleshooting
"It's the early 1970s and pilot fish is a college student taking computer courses. These are the days of punching programs on cards, which is done using keypunch machines. Lots of students needing to submit lots of programs need lots of keypunches, and the school has installed eight IBM 029 keypunch machines in a converted classroom..."
ComputerWorld, July 23rd, 2019
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Should Auld Acquaintance ...
Everyone was glad to see THAT year finally end
"The close of the fiscal year at the state university system where pilot fish works has been a nightmare, with one narrowly averted catastrophe after another.

First, one of the buyers in Purchasing has trouble processing requisitions into purchase orders, and the busiest time of the year for his department coming with the start of the new fiscal year. It looks like an easy problem to solve - but it isn't, and eventually nearly the entire IT staff is working on it, the software vendor is contacted, and no solution is in sight. The only good news is that the fiscal year will close on Friday this year, so they'll have the entire weekend to work on this problem before those requisitions have to be processed on Monday..."

ComputerWorld, July 22nd, 2019
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IT News - Operations
10 Resources Every Sysadmin Should Know About
Work smarter, not harder with these 10 resources that make a sysadmin look superhuman
"Everybody knows that sysadmins are impossibly busy people," opines Seth Kenlon in

"Consequently, it sometimes seems they are superhuman. The sysadmin's dirty secret, the same one shared by many open source users, is that they don't actually do all of the work it looks like they've done. One of the greatest tools in the sysadmin's kit is their ability to reuse work someone else has already done for them...", July 22nd, 2019
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IT News - DevOps
Why Did DevOps Become So Popular? 3 Theories
In honor of the 10-year anniversary of DevOps, I'd like to explore these questions
"The very basic history of DevOps goes like this: First, there was agile, an idea exemplified in the Agile Manifesto that gained prominence among software developers in the early 2000s," writes Chris Tozzi in

"Then, in 2008, Patrick Debois, a developer from Belgium, conceived of DevOps as a way to improve upon the agile concept by encouraging developers to work more closely with ITOps teams. His ideas began spreading in 2009. By the early 2010s, they had gained a sizable following and the rest is history...", July 22nd, 2019
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IT News - Cloud
10 Cloud Database Migration Mistakes To Avoid
Database expert Chris Foot lists the top 10 oversights IT teams commonly make when undertaking a cloud database migration and offers tips on how to avoid them
"More organizations are turning to database-as-a-service platforms in search of faster, more scalable deployments and lower costs," notes Chris Foot in SearchDataManagement. "With a plethora of DBaaS products and tools available today, the case for starting a cloud database migration has become even more compelling.

However, there's a common set of misconceptions and overlooked areas that continue to cause problems for IT teams during migrations to DBaaS platforms. They mostly affect organizations that are new to cloud database migrations, but companies that have migrated a number of on-premises databases to the cloud aren't immune to them either..."

SearchDataManagement, July 23rd, 2019
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IT News - Networks
Don't Believe These Popular VPN Myths
You shouldn't believe everything that you hear. Sometimes, the truth may seem a little outrageous and unreal, especially when it comes to our privacy and security on the Web
"If you haven't heard, our online privacy is not safe," warns Usman Raza in Business 2 Community.

"Whenever you connect to the Internet, your traffic starts getting tracked and recorded, making it easy for your online identity to be hacked or scammed. Scary, huh?

Fortunately, there is a way for us to protect our online identity. But how? Thanks to a service called Virtual Private Network or VPN. Because there are a lot of misconceptions about VPNs, what's true and what's a VPN myth, we are going to get to the bottom of it all. Read along as we uncover some of the most common VPN myths..."

Business 2 Community, July 26th, 2019
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IT News - IoT
When Mulling IoT Storage Options, Location Matters
As data streams explode, organizations should be strategic when it comes to IoT storage
"The growing amount of data IoT sensors and machinery generate is forcing companies to rethink their IoT storage strategies," notes Lisa Kosan in IoT World Today.

"'Right now, they don't really know what data is actually useful, and, once analyzed, what business decisions can be helped by that information,' said Dilip Sarangan, global research director, IoT and digital transformation, at Frost & Sullivan.

The 24 billion IoT devices that Gartner estimates will be in use by next year are producing 'a ridiculous amount of data that's just a whole lot of noise right now,' Sarangan said. The question, therefore, is whether to keep it and if so, where to store it..."

IoT World Today, July 24th, 2019
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IT News - Virtualization
Virtualbox 6.0.10 Adds UEFI Secure Boot Driver Signing Support On Ubuntu, Debian
Oracle released VirtualBox 6.0.10 as the fifth maintenance release in the latest VirtualBox 6.0 series, fixing various issues and adding some exciting enhancements for Linux user
Marius Nestor writes in Softpedia News, "VirtualBox 6.0.10 comes more than two months after the previous maintenance release with some notable changes for Linux-based operating systems, especially Ubuntu and Debian GNU/Linux hosts, which received support for UEFI Secure Boot driver signing. Additionally, Linux hosts got better support for various kernels on Debian GNU/Linux and Fedora systems..."
Softpedia News, July 24th, 2019
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IT News - Encryption
The Encryption Debate Is Over - Dead At The Hands Of Facebook
The encryption debate was back in the news this week as Attorney General William Barr railed against 'warrant-proof' encryption
Kalev Leetaru writes in Forbes, "He argued 'encryption' protects criminals and terrorists, continuing the same arguments that have been made for almost 30 years. As the cybersecurity community dismissed Barr's demands and outlined the myriad ways in which such backdoors could be exploited by criminals, the sad reality that most of the cybersecurity community has missed is that the encryption debate is already over - Facebook ended it earlier this year..."
Forbes, July 26th, 2019
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