snydeq (1272828) writes "Two of Microsoft's kernel-mode driver updates — which often cause problems — are triggering a BSOD error message on some Windows systems, InfoWorld reports. 'Details at this point are sparse, but it looks like three different patches from this week's Black Tuesday crop are causing Blue Screens with a Stop 0x50 error on some systems. If you're hitting a BSOD, you can help diagnose the problem (and perhaps prod Microsoft to find a solution) by adding your voice to the Microsoft Answers Forum thread on the subject.'"
snydeq (1272828) writes "Now that the technologies behind our servers and networks have stabilized, IT can look forward to a different kind of constant change, writes Paul Venezia. 'In IT, we are actually seeing a bit of stasis. I don't mean that the IT world isn't moving at the speed of light — it is — but the technologies we use in our corporate data centers have progressed to the point where we can leave them be for the foreseeable future without worry that they will cause blocking problems in other areas of the infrastructure. What all this means for IT is not that we can finally sit back and take a break after decades of turbulence, but that we can now focus less on the foundational elements of IT and more on the refinements.
... In essence, we have finally built the transcontinental railroad, and now we can use it to completely transform our Wild West.'"
snydeq (1272828) writes "The Internet of Things is about as overhyped as a tech trend comes, thanks in no small part to catch-all marketing efforts to lump together under one meaningless banner anything that uses power, a chip, and some communications. And yet there is certainly substance to derive from the concept, depending on which of the three evolving strains of 'IoT' make the most sense for your organization: machine-to-machine communications, smart systems, and the ad hoc IoT of home automation systems and the like, writes Galen Gruman. 'Despite the tech industry's fierce attempts to scrub all meaning from the IoT label, something real and valuable is occurring in the Internet of things. But users and IT organizations can't take advantage of it without understanding what's going on, which is what this post explains.
... Where all this leaves us is a set of distinct but overlapping markets all sharing the "Internet of things" label. They may share some technology underpinnings and some basic characteristics, but that's like thinking of PCs, networking, and databases as all the same because they are all computer technologies.'"
snydeq (1272828) writes "Modern programming bears little resemblance to the days of assembly code and toggles. Worse, or perhaps better, it markedly differs from what it meant to be a programmer just five years ago. While the technologies and tools underlying this transformation can make development work more powerful and efficient, they also make developers increasingly responsible for facets of computing beyond their traditional domain, thereby concentrating a wider range of roles and responsibilities into leaner, more overworked staff. 'It's quite possible that any Rip Van Winkle-like developer who slept through the past 10 years would be unable to function in the today's computing world.' How do you see the nature of development work changing, and which aspects do you find empowering or enslaving?"
snydeq (1272828) writes "Java core has stagnated, Java EE is dead, and Spring is over, but the JVM marches on. C'mon Oracle, where are the big ideas? asks Andrew C. Oliver. 'I don't think Oracle knows how to create markets. It knows how to destroy them and create a product out of them, but it somehow failed to do that with Java. I think Java will have a long, long tail, but the days are numbered for it being anything more than a runtime and a language with a huge install base. I don't see Oracle stepping up to the plate to offer the kind of leadership that is needed. It just isn't who Oracle is. Instead, Oracle will sue some more people, do some more shortsighted and self-defeating things, then quietly fade into runtime maintainer before IBM, Red Hat, et al. pick up the slack independently. That's started to happen anyhow.'"
snydeq (1272828) writes "The future emerging for Microsoft under Nadella is a mixed bag of hope and turmoil, writes Woody Leonhard in his review of Nadella's first fix months at the helm of Microsoft. 'When Nadella took over, Microsoft was mired in the aftermath of a lengthy and ultimately unpopular reign by longtime CEO — and Microsoft majority shareholder — Steve Ballmer. Given the constraint of that checkered past, some might argue that Nadella hasn't had enough time to make his imprint on every aspect of Microsoft. Yet there have been many changes already under Nadella's watch, and patterns are certainly emerging as to the kind of company Microsoft will be in the years ahead.' Leadership, product lines, financials — Nadella's scorecard shows strong strategic leadership, particularly around the cloud, but Windows and devices are murky at best, with Microsoft employees 'taking it in the shorts, and not only in Finland.'"
snydeq (1272828) writes "For IBM, much of the success of the joint IBM-Apple partnership that turned the industry on its ear yesterday hinges on the applications, writes InfoWorld's Eric Knorr. But you won't find the fruit of this labor in the App Store. 'The IBM MobileFirst initiative for iOS is very much in line with the IBM tradition of leading with professional services and providing custom application development. Plus, several recent IBM acquisitions are essential to MobileFirst, including Cloudant, Fiberlink, SoftLayer, and Worklight.' According to IBM Enterprise Mobile VP Phil Buckellew, IBM is initially targeting banking, insurance, telco, retail, government, travel, transportation, and health care, and has assembled its own catalog of "starter apps" that should accelerate development by providing 60 to 80 percent of the capabilities and can be customized to particular use cases. 'For each one of these apps,' says Buckellew, 'we have a litmus test: It has to address an industry pain point, and it needs to be powered by analytics.' But the biggest challenge, Knorr writes, could be the 'huge knot to unravel in controlling data access' when you put enterprise applications and analytics on a host of mobile devices."
snydeq (1272828) writes "Poor teamwork, little experimentation, no clear career path — your employer may be sending unmistakable signals of career stagnation just as many tech workers are enjoying high demand for their services, InfoWorld reports. 'Earning a stable income to endure ongoing tedium isn't everyone's ultimate goal for a career in IT. Unfortunately, that's all some employers have to offer — even if it didn't seem that way when you took the job years ago. Stagnation can mean career death in a competitive field, and if your company isn't offering unique, forward-looking projects, it might be time to hit the road.'"
snydeq (1272828) writes "Insecure by design and trusted by default, embedded systems present security concerns that could prove crippling if not addressed by fabricators, vendors, and customers alike, InfoWorld reports. Routers, smart refrigerators, in-pavement traffic-monitoring systems, or crop-monitoring drones — 'the trend toward systems and devices that, once deployed, stubbornly "keep on ticking" regardless of the wishes of those who deploy them is fast becoming an IT security nightmare made real, affecting everything from mom-and-pop shops to power stations. This unpatchable hell is a problem with many fathers, from recalcitrant vendors to customers wary of — or hostile to — change. But with the number and diversity of connected endpoints expected to skyrocket in the next decade, radical measures are fast becoming necessary to ensure that today's "smart" devices and embedded systems don't haunt us for years down the line.'"
snydeq (1272828) writes "IT security expert Roger Grimes provides real-world tales of security vendor snake oil, spelling out seven promises and technologies touted by security companies that don't deliver. 'If you're a hardened IT security pro, you've probably had these tactics run by you over and over. It's never only one vendor touting unbelievable claims but many. It's like a pathology of the computer security industry, this all-too-frequent underhanded quackery used in the hopes of duping an IT organization into buying dubious claims or overhyped wares. Following are seven computer security claims or technologies that, when mentioned in the sales pitch, should get your snake-oil radar up and primed for false promises.'"
snydeq (1272828) writes "Massive leaps in computing power, hidden layers, hardware backdoors — encrypting sensitive data from prying eyes is more precarious than ever. 'Encryption isn't always perfect, and even when the core algorithms are truly solid, many other links in the chain can go kablooie. There are hundreds of steps and millions of lines of code protecting our secrets. If any one of them fails, the data can be as easy to read as the face of a five-year-old playing Go Fish.
... This doesn't mean you should forgo securing sensitive data, but forewarned is forearmed. It's impossible to secure the entire stack and chain. Here are 11 reasons encryption is no longer all it's cracked up to be.'"
snydeq (1272828) writes "As software takes over more of our lives, the ethical ramifications of decisions made by programmers only become greater. Unfortunately, the tech world has always been long on power and short on thinking about the long-reaching effects of this power. More troubling: While ethics courses have become a staple of physical-world engineering degrees, they remain a begrudging anomaly in computer science pedagogy. Now that our code is in refrigerators, thermostats, smoke alarms, and more, the wrong moves, a lack of foresight, or downright dubious decision-making can haunt humanity everywhere it goes. Peter Wayner offers a look at just a few of the ethical quandaries confronting developers every day. 'Consider this less of a guidebook for making your decisions and more of a starting point for the kind of ethical contemplation we should be doing as a daily part of our jobs.'"
snydeq (1272828) writes "Microsoft TechNet blog makes clear that Windows 8.1 will not be patched, and that users must get Windows 8.1 Update if they want security patches, InfoWorld's Woody Leonhard reports. 'In what is surely the most customer-antagonistic move of the new Windows regime, Steve Thomas at Microsoft posted a TechNet article on Saturday stating categorically that Microsoft will no longer issue security patches for Windows 8.1, starting in May,' Leonhard writes. 'Never mind that Windows 8.1 customers are still having multiple problems with errors when trying to install the Update. At this point, there are 300 posts on the Microsoft Answers forum thread Windows 8.1 Update 1 Failing to Install with errors 0x80070020, 80073712 and 800F081F. The Answers forum is peppered with similar complaints and a wide range of errors, from 800F0092 to 80070003, for which there are no solutions from Microsoft. Never mind that Microsoft itself yanked Windows 8.1 Update from the corporate WSUS update server chute almost a week ago and still hasn't offered a replacement.'"
snydeq (1272828) writes "The programming world's favorite distributed version control system also lets you find, share, and improve code. InfoWorld's Martin Heller offers a guide to getting started with Git and GitHub. 'While there are dozens of get-started guides for Git and users of GitHub see a "pro tip" every time they refresh GitHub.com, it's still not easy to find a collection of useful tips for developers who want to work smarter with Git and GitHub. Let's fix that.'"