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+ - New Windows Coming In Late September -- But Which One?

Submitted by snydeq
snydeq (1272828) writes "Nobody seems to know for sure whether 'Threshold' and 'Windows 9' will be one and the same or separate operating systems, reports Woody Leonhard in his roundup of insights on Microsoft's forthcoming OS plans, expected September 30. 'Many people think the terms are synonymous, but longtime Chinese leaker Faikee continues to maintain that they are two separate products, possibly headed in different directions. Neowin Senior Editor and Columnist Brad Sams appears to have access to the most recent test builds, possibly on a daily basis. He doesn't talk about details, but the items he's let drop on the Neowin forum leave an interesting trail of crumbs.' Either way, the next iteration of Windows will have a lot to say about the kind of Microsoft to expect as Satya Nadella cements his leadership over the flagship OS."

+ - Choose Your Side On The Linux Divide

Submitted by snydeq
snydeq (1272828) writes "The battle over systemd exposes a fundamental gap between the old Unix guard and a new guard of Linux developers and admins, writes Deep End's Paul Venezia. 'Last week I posted about the schism brewing over systemd and the curiously fast adoption of this massive change to many Linux distributions. If there's one thing that systemd does extremely well, it is to spark heated discussions that devolve into wild, teeth-gnashing rants from both sides. Clearly, systemd is a polarizing subject. If nothing else, that very fact should give one pause. Fundamental changes in the structure of most Linux distributions should not be met with such fervent opposition. It indicates that no matter how reasonable a change may seem, if enough established and learned folks disagree with the change, then perhaps it bears further inspection before going to production. Clearly, that hasn't happened with systemd.'"

+ - What You Wish You'd Known Starting Out As A Programmer 2

Submitted by snydeq
snydeq (1272828) writes "Most of us gave little thought to the 'career' aspect of programming when starting out, but here we are, battle-hardened by hard-learned lessons, slouching our way through decades at the console, wishing perhaps that we had recognized the long road ahead when we started. What advice might we give to our younger self, or to younger selves coming to programming just now? Andrew C. Oliver offers eight insights he gave little thought to when first coding: 'As the old Faces song "Ooh La La" goes, I wish that I knew what I know now when I was younger. Back then, I simply loved to code and could have cared less about my "career" or about playing well with others. I could have saved myself a ton of trouble if I'd just followed a few simple practices.' What are yours?"

+ - Microsoft Black Tuesday Blue Screens of Death

Submitted by snydeq
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.'"

+ - The Quiet Before The Next IT Revolution

Submitted by snydeq
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.'"

+ - What the 'Internet of Things' Really Means

Submitted by snydeq
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.'"

+ - The Technologies Changing What It Means to Be a Programmer

Submitted by snydeq
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?"

+ - Oracle Hasn't Killed Java -- But There's Still Time

Submitted by snydeq
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.'"

+ - Satya Nadella At Six Months: Grading Microsoft's New CEO

Submitted by snydeq
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.'"

+ - IBM Plus Apple: It's All About The Apps

Submitted by snydeq
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."

+ - 9 Signs You Should Jump Ship To A New Job

Submitted by snydeq
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.'"

+ - The Coming IT Hell of Unpatchable Systems

Submitted by snydeq
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.'"

+ - Security Vendor Snake Oil

Submitted by snydeq
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.'"

+ - Apple JavaScript Accelerator Under Development

Submitted by snydeq
snydeq (1272828) writes "Changes to Apple's JavaScript engine — JavaScriptCore (aka "Nitro") for WebKit — are giving it a performance boost to rival that of Google's V8 and Mozilla's SpiderMonkey, InfoWorld reports. 'These upgrades, codenamed "FTLJIT," use the LLVM compiler as the JIT (just-in-time) compilation system. ... One attribute that could make FTLJIT stand out from the pack all the more is how well it runs JavaScript code that is not specifically optimized for asm.js. Every JavaScript engine will run asm.js code, but only Mozilla's SpiderMonkey honors asm.js-specific optimizations, and right now no other browser maker has elected to follow Mozilla's lead. So far, the speed boosts afforded by FTLJIT vary but are intriguing.'"

+ - 11 Reasons Encryption Is (Almost) Dead 1

Submitted by snydeq
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.'"

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