snydeq writes: From unstructured data mining to visual microphones, academic labs are bringing future breakthrough possibilities to light, writes InfoWorld's Peter Wayner in his overview of nine university projects that could have lasting impact on IT. 'Open source programmers can usually build better code faster, often because their have bosses who pay them to build something that will pay off next quarter, not next century. Yet good computer science departments still manage to punch above — sometimes well above — their weight. While a good part of the research is devoted to arcane topics like the philosophical limits of computation, some of it can be tremendously useful for the world at large. What follows are nine projects currently under development at university labs that [could] have a broad impact on the world of computing.'
snydeq writes: Forget Nigerian princes — today’s spearphishing is sophisticated business, fooling even the most seasoned security pros, writes InfoWorld's Roger A. Grimes, in a look at what sets today’s most sophisticated spearphishing attempts apart. 'Most of the time, phishing attempts are a minor menace we solve with a Delete key. Enter spearphishing: a targeted approach to phishing that is proving nefariously effective, even against the most seasoned security pros. Why? Because they are crafted by thoughtful professionals who seem to know your business, your current projects, your interests. They don’t tip their hand by trying to sell you anything or claiming to have money to give away. In fact, today’s spearphishing attempts have far more sinister goals than simple financial theft.'
snydeq writes: The rise of contract and contingent work is shaking up the traditional IT career path, with the days of decades-long careers in corporate environments dwindling for many IT pros. 'And it’s not only nonstop cost cutting that has businesses favoring IT contractors they can bring on — or scale back — as necessary without paying benefits. Emerging platforms, in particular around the cloud, have many organizations shifting their staffing models toward project-based, contingent work in hopes of landing the key skills necessary for their businesses to stay competitive in a constantly evolving technical landscape.... How should you adjust to this shifting employment landscape? Should you broaden your skills or specialize? Should you develop a plan to strike out on your own or double-down on the skills that will remain invaluable for retaining long-term, full-time employment?'
snydeq writes: Breaking the rules can bring a little thrill — and sometimes produce better, more efficient code. From the article: 'The rules are more often guidelines or stylistic suggestions, not hard-and-fast rules that must be obeyed or code death will follow. Sure, your code might be ridiculed, possibly even publicly, but the fact that you’re bucking conventions adds a little bit of the thrill to subverting, even inadvertently, what amounts more often than not to the social mores of pleasant code. To make matters more complex, sometimes it's better to break the rules. (Shhhh!) The code comes out cleaner. It may even be faster and simpler.'
snydeq writes: We've all received them: Trawling emails from tech recruiters looking to lure us away from our current employer, often with a cringe-worthy line or two that makes it seem as if we are being courted by an unwanted pickup artist. From the article: 'The men and women tasked with recruiting tech talent go to great lengths to attract the attention of their targets — (often unsuspecting) tech pros viewed as valuable "gets." While some recruiters prove to be invaluable in improving your career, finding exactly the right words to pique your interest in a new gig, far more seem to stammer, stumble, and elicit exasperated sighs.' What are the best doozies you've received?
snydeq writes: The marijuana business is making the leap from paper ledgers to the cloud and big data analytics, offering a provocative example for us all, InfoWorld reports. ' Imagine an agribusiness that never had access to a modern commodities market and had never used any real information technology. Suddenly, it had the opportunity to leap into high tech and potentially enjoy whole new economies of scale — a pure greenfield proposition. What would happen? With new international and state legalization, as well as a current moratorium on federal enforcement, marijuana is that agribusiness. Untouched by the traditions of an internal IT practice, it's creating a road map for the future, charted almost entirely in the cloud.'
snydeq writes: InfoWorld's Paul Heltzel reports on the impact that IT's increasing reliance on the cloud for IT infrastructure will have on your career in the years ahead. 'In today's quickly evolving tech world, it's easy to get lost chasing the turbulent present moment. The pace of change can be dizzying, and keeping up on everything that's emerging in IT today can drive even the most devoted tech worker to distraction. But IT pros who don't take the time to lift their heads and assess the likely IT landscape five years out may be asking for career trouble. Because one fact is clear: Organizations of all stripes are increasingly moving IT infrastructure to the cloud. In fact, most IT pros who've pulled all-nighters, swapping in hard drives or upgrading systems while co-workers slept, probably won't recognize their offices' IT architecture — or the lack thereof — in five years.'
snydeq writes: Bitcoin’s widely trusted ledger offers intriguing possibilities for business use beyond cryptocurrency, writes InfoWorld's Peter Wayner. 'From the beginning, bitcoin has assumed a shadowy, almost outlaw mystique,' Wayner writes. 'Even the mathematics of the technology are inscrutable enough to believe the worst. The irony is that the mathematical foundations of bitcoin create a solid record of legitimate ownership that may be more ironclad against fraud than many of the systems employed by businesses today. Plus, the open, collaborative way in which bitcoin processes transactions ensures the kind of network of trust that is essential to any business agreement.'
snydeq writes: Public keys, trusted hardware, block chains — InfoWorld's Peter Wayner discusses tech tools developers should be investigating to help secure the Internet for all. 'The Internet is a pit of epistemological chaos. As Peter Steiner posited — and millions of chuckles peer-reviewed — in his famous New Yorker cartoon, there's no way to know if you're swapping packets with a dog or the bank that claims to safeguard your money,' Wayner writes. 'We may not be able to wave a wand and make the Internet perfect, but we can certainly add features to improve trust on the Internet. To that end, we offer the following nine ideas for bolstering a stronger sense of assurance that our data, privacy, and communications are secure.'
snydeq writes: The transition from command line to line-of-command requires a new mind-set — and a thick skin, writes InfoWorld's Paul Heltzel in a tips-based article aimed at programmers interested in breaking into management. 'Talented engineers may see managing a team as the next step to growing their careers. So if you're moving in this direction, what tools do you need to make the transition? We'll look at some possible approaches, common pitfalls — and offer solutions.'
snydeq writes: Nothing is safe, thanks to the select few hacks that push the limits of what we thought possible, InfoWorld's Roger Grimes writes in this roundup of hacks that could make even the most sane among us a little bit paranoid. 'These extreme hacks rise above the unending morass of everyday, humdrum hacks because of what they target or because they employ previously unknown, unused, or advanced methods. They push the limit of what we security pros previously thought possible, opening our eyes to new threats and systemic vulnerabilities, all while earning the begrudging respect of those who fight malicious hackers.'
snydeq writes: Ben Ramsey provides a look at the rise of PHP, the one-time ‘silly little project’ that has transformed into a Web powerhouse, thanks to flexibility, pragmatism, and a vibrant community of Web devs. 'Those early days speak volumes about PHP’s impact on Web development. Back then, our options were limited when it came to server-side processing for Web apps. PHP stepped in to fill our need for a tool that would enable us to do dynamic things on the Web. That practical flexibility captured our imaginations, and PHP has since grown up with the Web. Now powering more than 80 percent of the Web, PHP has matured into a scripting language that is especially suited to solve the Web problem. Its unique pedigree tells a story of pragmatism over theory and problem solving over purity.'
snydeq writes: With Java hitting its 20th anniversary this week, Elliotte Rusty Harold discusses how the language changed the art and business of programming, turning on a generation of coders. 'Java’s core strength was that it was built to be a practical tool for getting work done. It popularized good ideas from earlier languages by repackaging them in a format that was familiar to the average C coder, though (unlike C++ and Objective-C) Java was not a strict superset of C. Indeed it was precisely this willingness to not only add but also remove features that made Java so much simpler and easier to learn than other object-oriented C descendants.'