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Submission + - Paul Hudak, co-creator of Haskell, has died

Esther Schindler writes: Yale is reporting that Paul Hudak, professor of computer science and master of Saybrook College, died last night after a long battle with leukemia. He was known as one of the principle designers of Haskell, which you probably don't need to be told he defined as "a purely functional programming language."

Submission + - Good: Companies care about data privacy. Bad: No idea how to protect it. 1 1

Esther Schindler writes: Research performed by Dimensional Research demonstrated something most of us know: Just about every business cares about data privacy, and intends to do something to protect sensitive information. But when you cross-tabulate the results to look more closely at what organizations are actually doing to ensure that private data stays private, the results are sadly predictable: While smaller companies care about data privacy just as much as big ones do, they’re ill-equipped to respond. What’s different is not the perceived urgency of data privacy and other privacy/security matters. It’s what companies are prepared (and funded) to do about it.

For instance:

When it comes to training employees on data privacy, 82% of the largest organizations do tell the people who work for them the right way to handle personally identifiable data and other sensitive information. Similarly, 71% of the businesses with 1,000-5,000 employees offer such training.

However, even though smaller companies are equally concerned about the subject, that concern does not trickle down to the employees quite so effectively. Half of the midsize businesses offer no such training; just 39% of organizations with under 100 employees regularly train employees on data privacy.

Presumably, your employer cares about data security and privacy, too (if for no other reason than to keep its name out of the news). But what is it really doing to ensure that protection?


We'll Be the Last PC Company Standing, Acer CEO Says 417 417

Velcroman1 writes: At a sky-high press conference atop the new World Trade Center in lower Manhattan, Acer unveiled a sky-high lineup of goods – and placed a flag in the sand for the sagging PC industry. "There are only four or five players in the PC industry, and all of us are survivors," Jason Chen, CEO of Acer Corp, told an international group of reporters. "We will be the last man standing for the PC industry." To that end, the company showed off a slew of new laptops and 2-in-1s, the new Liquid X2 smartphone, and introduces a new line of gaming PCs, called Predator. I suspect Apple will outlive Acer; who do you think will fall next (or rise next)?

Submission + - Modern Supercomputers Have Just Hit the End of Another Architectural Era->

An anonymous reader writes: There has been a steady climb toward accelerators for top-ranked machines, but with the self-hosted model of the upcoming Knights Landing architecture, this offload model and the bottleneck of data movement between the GPU and other elements, will likely go away. The OpenPower efforts of IBM and Nvidia to use NVlink to speed that communication will be put to the test with the Power9 based systems coming to other centers in the next couple of years, including the future 150-petaflop “Sierra” machine coming to Lawrence Livermore Laboratory, but Gara says that these are still using what amounts to an offload model in that data has to be pushed between multiple components.

It is not clear how the Top 500 folks will choose to classify systems that have a GPU that is part of the compute since the accelerators classification generally just refers to a coprocessor that sits across a bus. The main question, however, is how long it will take for this classification to disappear entirely. As it stands, the new top-tier systems that will start to come online, possibly for the November rankings, will sport Knights Landing, wherein the accelerator is not a discrete unit. Gara says the shift away from the offload model is already starting to happen, and will continue with the introduction of Knights Landing into the full HPC market (right now just the national labs—at least as far we know) are part of the early access program for these chips.

Link to Original Source

Submission + - NTP's Fate Hinges On 'Father Time'

Esther Schindler writes: In April, one of the open source code movement's first and biggest success stories, the Network Time Protocol, will reach a decision point, writes Charlie Babcock. At 30 years old, will NTP continue as the preeminent time synchronization system for Macs, Windows, and Linux computers and most servers on networks?

Or will this protocol go into a decline marked by drastically slowed development, fewer bug fixes, and greater security risks for the computers that use it? The question hinges to a surprising degree on the personal finances of a 59-year-old technologist in Talent, Ore., named Harlan Stenn.

Submission + - End of grocery store checkout lanes? Maybe.

Esther Schindler writes: NCR says it's developed a "whole store scanner" that will allow shoppers to buy items in a store with no need to checkout at a traditional checkout lane. The system was made public today for the first time in a U.S. patent application by NCR.

"With these approaches," NCR says,"it is possible to revolutionize the checkout process for retailers and consumers. To summarize, the process can be as simple as placing items in a cart, picking up an electronic or paper receipt, and leaving the store."

Here's how it works: "The system employs dozens of low-cost cameras to watch the customer, the customer's shopping cart or basket, and the view of visible items as the customer moves through a store.When a customer enters a store, a first camera takes his or her image that is then linked with the empty shopping cart he or she's selected, NCR says. The shopper then links a mobile phone or other payment mechanism with that image." ...and more, of course, but that does give us an idea of what they're envisioning.

Think they can pull it off?

Submission + - The Next Decade in Storage

Esther Schindler writes: Beyond “What’s coming in 2015” articles: Robin Harris, a.k.a. StorageMojo, predicts 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. For instance:

There are several forms of [Resistive RAM], but they all store data by changing the resistance of a memory site, instead of placing electrons in a quantum trap, as flash does. RRAM promises better scaling, fast byte-addressable writes, much greater power efficiency, and thousands of times flash’s endurance.

RRAM's properties should enable significant architectural leverage, even if it is more costly per bit than flash is today. For example, a fast and high endurance RRAM cache would simplify metadata management while reducing write latency.

...and plenty more, of course.

Submission + - New "clues" added to the Cluetrain Manifesto, the first time in 16 years.->

Esther Schindler writes: And oh god it's so damned wonderful. Can we all applaud this?

68 We all love our shiny apps, even when they're sealed as tight as a Moon base. But put all the closed apps in the world together and you have a pile of apps.
69 Put all the Web pages together and you have a new world.
70 Web pages are about connecting. Apps are about control.

And so much more.

Link to Original Source

Submission + - Avoid Holiday Camera-geddon: How to Keep Holiday Family Photos from Bringing Dow

Esther Schindler writes: A hidden danger for your datacenter lays lurking during the holiday season – and it’s ready to bring your servers to their knees, write Yadin Porter de León and Tony Piscopo. Employees take a smartphone to family gatherings to capture the smiles of their family members. When the employees return to the office, those photos are synced and shared across your network.

And, come the first working day of the new year, they’ll all be backing up at once!

If you work in a large company with the backup solutions residing in the datacenter, you likely have experienced this phenomenon. It’s been described by some as “the worst day of the year for their infrastructure load.”

You know the painful process of trying to get the services up-and-running again after it crashes. You may find yourself struggling as the servers continue to crash as all those endpoints relentlessly try to shove photos of pets in Santa hats and bad Christmas sweaters through your precious network pipes and clog up the storage pools.

The authors have four suggestions for how sysadmins can avoid or minimize the damage, no matter what kind of backup system you use.

Submission + - Gartner: Mobility management is a mess.

Esther Schindler writes: What’s the future of endpoint management? According to a Gartner research director: It’s a mess.

Gartner Research Director Rob Smith, speaking in Barcelona this week at the Gartner Symposium, addressed business challenges, particularly in bigger businesses:

IT has to change its basic perspective: All endpoints are untrusted. That’s a big statement and the automatic response might be, “Not if I lock it down!” But, according to Smith, the days of saying no to users is dead. The new reality is that if you say no, users will go around you.

It might not be hopeless, though:

How do we possibly protect our data when things change so fast? Smith thinks the answer is in what he calls his “Lord of the Rings” philosophy: one system to rule them all, or what Gartner refers to as Unified Endpoint Management (UEM). UEM is a consistent, single approach to managing all aspects of endpoint data protection. It encompasses a whole range of features (identity management, app management, data access, etc.) and requires that vendors work together, ensuring their separate services and/or apps talk to each other and work together without necessitating IT involvement.

This sounds like utopia. The good news? According to Smith, vendors have already started to do it. The bad news? IT departments, with their legacy Windows XP and Windows 7 deployments, aren’t ready to support it.

Do you think this all is on the mark? Or are there ways to support users that don't drive both IT and end-users crazy?

Submission + - Big Bang Theory's Biggest Lesson: Let Nerds Be Nerds 1 1

Esther Schindler writes: Sometimes we can learn great lessons from fictional characters. This article professes to explain what Sheldon, Leonard, Howard, and Raj from the “Big Bang Theory” can teach managers about tapping into nerd talent. For example: "Improvement is a way of life. It’s often difficult for managers to ensure the quality of work remains high for every member of a team, but they never have to worry where nerds are concerned. The brains of geeks are wired to solve problems."

Submission + - Photon interaction has been created in the fiber->

Trachman writes: Austrian scientists discovered a way to couple photon pairs. During the coupling for two identical photons, under analysis, a phase is changed in one and, using the magic of the world of quantum mechanics, the phase of other photon also changes. Scientists predict that this can advance quantum optics, quantum computations and, in the nearest future, secure fiber networks from NSA and other self appointed nosy rulers of the world.

The question to the community is following: Is there anyone who can explain in simple terms the essence of the discovery and associated potential practical applications.

Link to Original Source

We are drowning in information but starved for knowledge. -- John Naisbitt, Megatrends