IT News and Events
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IT News - CxO
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5 Must-Read Harvard Business Review Articles In September
Check out these five thought-provoking HBR articles, curated especially for CIOs and IT leaders
Carla Rudder writes in The Enterprisers Project, "Each month, through our partnership with Harvard Business Review, we refresh our business library for CIOs with five new HBR articles we believe CIOs and IT leaders will value highly. The curated pieces below are available now through the end of September.

  • How to lead your team past the peak of a crisis
  • Why criticism is good for creativity
  • Create a productivity workflow that works for you
  • Don't let teamwork get in the way of agility
  • Build a culture that aligns with people's values

Read on for details..."

The Enterprisers Project, September 1st, 2020
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Creating An IT Culture Of Inclusiveness And Belonging
For too long, and out of necessity, Black IT professionals have been silent about their experience. Creating a safe space to engage, listen and learn from others is a necessary first step towards creating a workplace culture that fully supports and values people of color
"Acknowledging that systemic racism exists in our society and recognizing the many different ways it has adversely impacted the Black community, as well as other people of color, is a key first step to successfully addressing systemic racism in the workplace," opines Damon Carter in CIO.

"IT leaders must also condemn systemic racism and make a genuine commitment to cultivating a workplace culture that promotes equality, equity and justice for all employees.

But lasting change does not happen overnight, and it does not take place strictly by proclamation. A critical step in the early stages of preparing the organization for dynamic change includes reimagining a new workplace culture that will transform the employee experience, particularly for those individuals who have been historically disadvantaged by systemic racism..."

CIO, September 4th, 2020
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Leading Through Uncertainty: 7 Characteristics Of Highly Successful Digital Leaders
Apoorva Chhabra, associate principal analyst at Gartner, examines the 7 characteristics of highly successful digital leaders
"Digital business transformation is classically built around organisational elements like processes, policies and technology," writes Apoorva Chhabra in InformationAge.

"However, what gets little attention, but that may be the most fundamental, is the characteristic of effective leadership.

Uncertain events not only disrupt business; they disrupt leadership as well. Digital transformation demands digital leaders who can anticipate opportunities and threats and adapt to changing conditions..."

InformationAge, September 3rd, 2020
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CISO As A Service (vCISO, Virtual CISO, Fractional CISO)
A CISO as a service (CISOaaS) is the outsourcing of CISO (chief information security officer) and information security leadership responsibilities to a third-party provider. By hiring a third-party provider to manage its security program remotely, an organization gains access to staff and resources that it doesn't have in-house, and can better keep up with information security and compliance demands.
"CISOaaS is often paid for on a subscription or per-use basis," notes Margaret Rouse in SearchSecurity, "like many XaaS models. Also, like many XaaS models, CISOaaS offerings may be entirely remote, or may be a hybrid model in which the provider's experts work with an organization's existing security team.

Having robust security leadership is important in the modern organization, as digital transformation increases an organization's overall breadth of vulnerabilities. There is also an industrywide cybersecurity skills shortage, meaning that affordable skilled security leaders are hard to find, and often bounce from organization to organization. CISOaaS provides a potential solution to this problem by providing access to cost-efficient security leadership on an as-needed basis.

CISOaaS may also be referred to as a fractional CISO or virtual CISO (vCISO). Fractional CISO is also the name of a company that provides CISOaaS offerings..."

SearchSecurity, September 3rd, 2020
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Why Digital Transformation Remains Your Best Chance To Survive The COVID-19 Onslaught
As businesses face a never foreseen or imagined, straight out of a dystopian pandemic fiction situation, where sustenance is all that matters - digital transformation is providing them the means to weather the storm
Shashin Shah writes in Business 2 Community, "Those who embraced it in the past years seem to be winning the war against COVID-19 without fighting, and those who haven't are fighting without winning.

A recent poll by Gartner has revealed that plans of nearly 60% CFOs factor in a scenario that includes a second wave of the pandemic.

Going forward, procrastinating agile working won't be a choice, and making decisions on impulses instead of real data analysis won't be less then hara-kiri. Isolated teams, overdependence on legacy technologies and processes, siloed data must give way to transformation in operations, experiences, and tech ecosystems. The only way to deal with this massive disruption is by adopting cost-efficient digitalization strategies and focusing on delivering uninterrupted value to customers.

A digital-first approach focussed at achieving nimbleness, developing lean operations, exploiting technology to your best advantage, and freeing up your people for more analytically inclined, complex tasks-remains at the heart of this change..."

Business 2 Community, August 31st, 2020
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IT News - CRM
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CRM Is Failing: It's Time To Transition To CxM
CRM and CEM/CXM are essential tools for maintaining business flow with customers. Although similar, they have distinct differences. To choose the right one, organizations need to go beyond the alphabet soup of these hi-tech business applications.
"Customer relationship management (CRM) software tracks interactions with sales prospects and customers. CRM systems can provide many benefits, but not every business needs one," opines Jack M. Germain in CRMBuyer.

"Customer experience management (CEM or CXM) is a more extensive information collection process to track, oversee and organize every interaction between a customer and the organization throughout the customer lifecycle. It goes deeper into the customer experience and focuses on insight from their unique perspective by listening to customers, analyzing their feedback, and understanding their viewpoint to optimize the customer experience.

In short, both tools optimize customer relationships. How they do this makes all the difference. CRM facilitates relationship building for the organization. CXM focuses on monitoring and improving the experience for the customer..."

CRMBuyer, September 1st, 2020
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IT News - Security
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Majority Of IT Leaders Feel Network Security Is Not Up To Scratch
IT security pros demand greater network visibility, despite budgets tightening
"Securing a company network the 'traditional' way is no longer viable, thanks to budget constraints and the meteoric rise of remote working," writes Sead Fadilpaaic in ITProPortal.

"This is according to a new report from Juniper Networks, based on a poll of 1,000 senior IT networking and security professionals hailing from various industries.

According to those surveyed, legacy networks have too many performance issues and, as such, IT professionals spend much of their day firefighting, leaving almost no time for innovation and upgrades..."

ITProPortal, September 2nd, 2020
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The Hidden Costs Of Losing Security Talent
One person's exit can set off a chain of costly events.
"Companies know that security talent costs money and good people are hard to find," writes Steve Zurier in Dark Reading, "But what they don't always consider are the hidden costs of losing an experienced security analyst.

According to Simone Petrella, founder and CEO of online training firm CyberVista, an experienced security analyst commands an average annual salary of about $100,000. And when that analyst leaves a company, it typically takes eight months to replace that person and almost four months to train a replacement..."

Dark Reading, September 2nd, 2020
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IT News - Storage
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High-Performance Interconnects And Storage Performance
Should you use InfiniBand or RDMA over Converged Ethernet as an interconnect? We discuss each technology's effect on performance features such as latency, IOPS and throughput
"Storage sharing has been an important aspect of storage cost control and performance optimization for more than two decades," writes Marc Staimer, in SearchStorage. "The goal has been to squeeze the best performance for the lowest cost out of the shared storage.

"There are essentially four types of shared storage -- block, file, object and parallel file -- commonly found in high-performance computing (HPC) environments. And while each approach must solve multiple storage bottlenecks to achieve its optimal performance, this article focuses on issues related to external interconnect performance to client endpoints..."

SearchStorage, September 1st, 2020
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Troubleshoot SAN Issues To Improve Performance
Common SAN problems include compatibility issues, hardware failures and sluggish storage response times, but a few proven strategies can easily resolve these issues
Brian Peterson and Rich Castagna write in SearchStorage, "Storage area networks can be complicated and temperamental beasts. This is especially true when they're poorly managed. Troubleshooting is tough because a good design isn't always obvious, and Fibre Channel standards are just loose enough to make interoperability a concern.

Fibre Channel (FC) storage area networks have been largely displaced by iSCSI SANs as the block storage choice for many data centers. But while iSCSI is a lower cost alternative that is somewhat easier to manage, can use familiar Ethernet networking technology and might share an existing LAN, FC is still the protocol of choice when high-performance block storage is required. As such, it remains an important storage alternative in most shops, despite the emergence of other alternatives..."

SearchStorage, September 3rd, 2020
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Broadcom Unveils Industry's First Gen 7 64Gb/S Fibre Channel Switching Platforms
New End-to-End 64Gb/s Storage Solutions Boast Industry-Leading Switches, Adapters, and Transceivers
Broadcom Inc. (NASDAQ: AVGO) announced the availability of the industry's first Gen 7 64Gb/s Fibre Channel switching platforms- the Brocade X7 Directors and G720 Switch, that are foundational infrastructure for the on-demand data center. Additionally, the company today announced the industry's first 64Gb/s Fibre Channel optical transceiver, that is being qualified for use in Brocade switches and Emulex adapters, for end-to-end Gen 7 performance.

Brocade Gen 7 Fibre Channel combines unmatched performance, powerful analytics and advanced automation capabilities to enable an autonomous SAN. New 64Gb/s speed and 50 percent lower latency, powers the network for storage innovations like NVMe flash arrays. Gen 7 also adds new self-learning, self-optimizing and self-healing capabilities to automate SAN management. With the launch of Gen 7 Fibre Channel switching platforms, Broadcom is demonstrating its commitment to develop innovative Fibre Channel technology for the most trusted network for storage.

Broadcom News, September 1st, 2020
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IT News - AI
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The Fourth Generation Of AI Is Here, And It's Called 'Artificial Intuition'
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is one of the most powerful technologies ever developed, but it's not nearly as new as you might think. In fact, it's undergone several evolutions since its inception in the 1950s.
Mark Gazit writes in TheNetWeb, "The first generation of AI was 'descriptive analytics,' which answers the question, 'What happened?' The second, 'diagnostic analytics,' addresses, 'Why did it happen?' The third and current generation is 'predictive analytics,' which answers the question, 'Based on what has already happened, what could happen in the future?'

While predictive analytics can be very helpful and save time for data scientists, it is still fully dependent on historic data. Data scientists are therefore left helpless when faced with new, unknown scenarios. In order to have true 'artificial intelligence,' we need machines that can 'think' on their own, especially when faced with an unfamiliar situation. We need AI that can not just analyze the data it is shown, but express a 'gut feeling' when something doesn't add up. In short, we need AI that can mimic human intuition. Thankfully, we have it..."

TheNetWeb, September 3rd, 2020
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7 Machine Learning Challenges Businesses Face While Implementing
Studies show that your business can experience 40% productivity improvement by using Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. It can help you to reorganize your data in such a way that you get value out of every data point that you record.
"Machine Learning is an invaluable technology that more than 50% of businesses are already exploring or planning to adopt," writes Shardul Bhatt in AWS News.

"It is a key player in the digital transformation of your organization.

However, while implementing Machine Learning, your business is likely to look at the positive side of things. There are multiple Machine Learning challenges that you may forget even exist.

Solving these Machine Learning problems is crucial to the success of your entire digital transformation initiative. You don't want to get stuck in management struggles or half-hearted Machine Learning projects that yield no result.

In this article, we will highlight the 7 Machine Learning challenges that your business can face while implementing. You will also learn how to find quick solutions to these problems in Machine Learning projects..."

AWS News, October 31st, 2020
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Feds Investing $1B To Fund 12 New AI Institutes
The federal government is increasing its investment in AI research, with the announcement on August 26 of over $1 billion of awards to establish 12 new AI and quantum information science (QIS) research institutes nationwide
"The announcement was from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the US Department of Energy (DOE), in a release issued from the Brookhaven National Laboratory of Upton, N.Y.

The $1 billion will go toward NSF-led AI Research Institutes and DOE QIS Research Centers of five years, establishing 12 multi-disciplinary and multi-institutional national hubs for research and workforce development. The goals are to spur innovation, support regional economic growth and advance American leadership in strategic industries..." - aitrends

aitrends, September 3rd, 2020
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Google Debuts New AI Features And Tools To Advance MLOps
Google LLC announced today a raft of artificial intelligence-related updates as part of Google Cloud Next: OnAir, a nine-week series of livestream events that runs through Sept. 15.
"The focus of today's updates is all about machine learning," writes Mike Wheatley in siliconANGLE, "and, in particular, the emerging MLOps discipline that's aimed at putting machine learning workflows into operation by fostering more collaboration and better communication between data scientists and developers.

Google's AI Platform is a suite of tools that's meant to enable MLOps. It enables machine learning developers, data scientists and data engineers to take their ideas around ML and develop these into actual projects that can be deployed in production quickly and without excessive costs..."

siliconANGLE, September 1st, 2020
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IT News - Technology
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What Moore's Law Means Today
Remember when we all got excited about more megahertz? That's not the future of microprocessing: But Moore's Law is alive and well - in its own way
"Other than sometimes pedants like myself," notes Gordon Haff in The Enterprisers Project, "most people don't use Moore's Law in its literal sense. That sense being Intel co-founder Gordon Moore's 1965 observation that each year saw a doubling of transistors in an integrated circuit. This doubling in turn meant that transistors kept getting proportionately cheaper and smaller.

But it's the performance increases - the speed gains that come from denser integrated circuits - that most people focus on when it comes to Moore's Law. The process shrinks enabling those density increases are only part of the overall performance ramp-up story of microprocessors and other integrated circuits, yet they've mostly overshadowed other engineering advances..."

The Enterprisers Project, August 31st, 2020
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World's First Photonic Quantum Computer Is Now Publicly Available On The Cloud
Xanadu is making photonic quantum computing more accessible to developers and businesses
Anthony Spadafora writes in techradar.pro, "As quantum computing will allow industries to tackle problems they never would have attempted to solve before, it's clear why demand for access to quantum computers is growing among businesses.

To help organizations leverage the power of quantum computing, Xanadu has announced the release of the world's first publicly available photonic quantum cloud platform which will allow developers to access its gate-based photonic quantum processors in 8, 12 and soon 24 qubit machines..."

techradar.pro, August 31st, 2020
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Microsoft Builds Deepfakes Detection Tool To Combat Election Disinformation
Microsoft has developed a deepfakes detection tool to help news publishers and political campaigns, as well as technology to help content creators 'mark' their images and videos in a way that will show if the content has been manipulated post-creation
Zeljka Zorz writes in HelpNet Security, "Deepfakes - photos and videos in which a person is replaced with someone else's likeness through the power of artificial intelligence (AI) - are already having an impact individuals' lives, politics and society in general. Wielded by those who have an interest in spreading easily-believable disinformation, the technology is expected to wreak even more havoc in the long run.

The existence of deepfake technology became more widely known in 2017 when a Reddit user showed that it's easy to create relatively realistic porn videos of celebrities. The technology has been perfected since then and will surely continue to evolve and go on to produce ever more difficult-to-spot deepfakes..."

HelpNet Security, September 2nd, 2020
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IT News - Humor
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Elementary
Logic only takes you so far, my dear Watson.
"It's 1984, and the small law firm where this basically non-techie pilot fish works has finally agreed to his suggestion to get computers and inkjet printers for all the secretaries.

Fish's stock rises when productivity soars, so he doesn't mind that he'll be in charge of fixing any of the machines that start to act up.

And the computers do have their moments and require constant hardware and software tinkering. Fortunately, the printers never fail. In fact, things are going pretty well, until one computer starts rebooting itself, for no apparent reason, several times a day, costing the secretary who uses it to lose all her work in progress..." - ComputerWorld

ComputerWorld, September 1st, 2020
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Flashback Friday: Eh, I Guess It Could Happen To Anybody
But it's a good lesson in humility
"It's the mid-1970s, and this programmer pilot fish works for an IT service provider that supports several big insurance companies.

'We ran a huge (at that time) mainframe and a nationwide network and, of course, a large computer room,' says fish.

One winter night, fish is there working on a new program. There's a blizzard outside, so when the mainframe operator has finished running the nightly batch, fish tells him to go home, figuring he knows enough to compile his code." - ComputerWorld

ComputerWorld, September 4th, 2020
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Memory-Lane Monday: While We're Chatting, I Should Mention About The Big Red Switch ...
It's a whole new world in this place
"Flashback to 1988, when this pilot fish's IT experience is limited to work at computer stores on standalone PCs. But then he's hired to work in a real data center - raised floor, glass walls and full of Wang minicomputers.

'I was given an introductory walkthrough by my boss, then shown to my cubicle just outside the glass wall and left there,' says fish. 'I was awestruck. A real computer, on a network!'

Fish reads through his employee welcome packet, then logs into his terminal for the first time. Up pops a menu of choices. Gingerly, fish begins exploring. One menu option is WSNSTART. Fish selects that and presses Enter..." - ComputerWorld

ComputerWorld, August 31st, 2020
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Wayback Wednesday: For My Next Trick ...
I think I fulfilled all the requirements perfectly.
"Pilot fish is assigned to write a program to handle call center requests - everything from service scheduling and machine tracking to engineering change requests and design issues.

'Doing my best due diligence, I went from one department head to the next, pen and paper in hand, and asked each one for specific ideas of what they wanted,' says fish. 'Each of them responded the same: 'I don't know. Put something together and then we'll tweak it.''

Undaunted, fish goes to potential users in each department, asking for input. But it's the same story: 'Put something together and we'll figure it out from there'..." - ComputerWorld

ComputerWorld, September 2nd, 2020
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IT News - Cloud
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Top Cloud Computing Providers
Here is a listing of the largest and most currently successful cloud services companies in the world
"In the IT business, as in most businesses, options are always good," notes Chris Preimesberger in eWeek.

"Hybrid cloud systems, which combine elements of both public and private clouds, are now the standard choice for enterprises seeking cloud providers, and they offer plenty of options. Data management systems that can combine control of public cloud services and on-premises applications on a single screen is the nirvana that all IT administrators want to achieve. It's all about choices and having the ability to make them on demand, if necessary..."

eWeek, August 31st, 2020
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IT News - Email
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Gmail vs Exchange: What's The Best Email Provider For Your Business?
Is Microsoft or Google the better email provider?
Michael Graw writes in techradar.pro, "Choosing the best email provider is critical to the success of your business. Your business email service plays a huge role in determining whether messages will make it to your employees in a timely manner. Plus, it controls what email client you can use, whether your inbox will be filled with spam, and whether you can get help when something goes wrong.

For many businesses, the choice of top business email comes down to two tried and true platforms-Google Gmail and Microsoft Exchange. Both of these providers have a lot to offer, but which one is the best professional email for your company? In this guide, we'll compare these two platforms head to head to help you decide..."

techradar.pro, September 4th, 2020
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IT News - Big Data
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10 Big Data Statistics That Will Blow Your Mind
They call it 'big data' for a reason-it's really, really big. But getting your head wrapped around the growth of information digitization is not easy.
Alex Woodie notes in datanami, "That's why we carefully curated these 10 mind-blowing facts about today's data-geist, and how it's projected to grow in the future.

1. The Global Datasphere will grow from 33 Zettabytes (ZB) in 2018 to 175 ZB by 2025, a 26% annual compound growth rate (CAGR), per IDC's DataAge 2025 report. However, only about 9ZB of that data will actually be stored, up from about 0.9ZB in 2015. Only about one-third of the data that's stored will actually be used, the analyst group says..."

datanami, September 4th, 2020
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Best 10 ETL Tools & Software
These ETL tools feature advanced data integration capabilities that can help enterprises prepare data for analytics.
Cynthia Harvey and James Maguire writes in Datamation, "Today's ETL tools play a key role in today's data-driven enterprises. Every major big data analytics project requires collecting data from disparate sources, getting it into the right format and then loading it back into the analytics software. So it's no surprise that ETL, short for 'Extract, Transform, Load' is used daily.

This ETL process can be a major headache for enterprises. In one Forrester report, customers said that up to 80 percent of their data warehouse workloads were ETL jobs. In addition to consuming valuable computing resources, this work also requires a lot of time on the part of business analysts and highly paid data scientists. As a result, both enterprises and vendors have been looking for ways to streamline and simplify the ETL process..."

Datamation, September 1st, 2020
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Top 3 Data Analytics Challenges And How To Resolve Them
Jerry DiMaso, CEO and co-founder of Knarr Analytics, discusses how effective analytics has become such a determinative factor that it's now evident that those who master it will thrive. However, the journey toward that goal isn't without obstacles. What are the most common data analytics challenges and how can companies confidently confront them?
"In 2013, McKinsey's director Tim McGuire said: 'Analytics will define the difference between the losers and winners going forward,' and he certainly wasn't wrong. Since then, we have seen companies across the board leverage data capabilities to execute smarter decisions, drive accountability, improve their financial health, and keep a closer eye on their performance.

According to a recent study, the data analytics market is expected to grow at an annual growth rate of 30% until 2023, reaching $77.6 billion in annual spend. Such numbers show just how important data capabilities have become, hinting at a future where embracing digital business without data will be simply impossible..." - insideBIGDATA

insideBIGDATA, September 1st, 2020
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IT News - Developer
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Common Developer Frustrations And How To Overcome Them
There's a right way and a wrong way to write great software. Here is the latter
"If you're a developer, whether you realize it or not, you've probably experienced 'decision fatigue' at one point in your career," suggests Derek Lee Boire in ITProPortal.

"Decision fatigue occurs when the quality of the decisions we make deteriorates due to the mental fatigue of having already made a lot of decisions. While some people may want to believe that they have infinite willpower, our mental energy and focus has a limit no different than our physical bodies do. You can train long, or you can train hard - either way your body will tire eventually..."

ITProPortal, September 4th, 2020
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