snydeq writes: Open centers of grassroots innovation, hackerspaces offer opportunities to source talent, create goodwill, and push technology forward, writes Open Software Integrators' Phil Rhodes. 'I had the good fortune to be able to attend Maker Faire North Carolina this weekend in Raleigh, N.C.... At this local Maker Faire, I was struck by the number of hackerspaces represented. The energy, buzz, and activity around their booths was captivating,' Rhodes writes. 'Amid all this buzz, it dawned on me that everyone should be excited about hackerspaces and what they represent, both for their local communities and the world. Although the hackerspace movement is growing rapidly, many people are still not familiar with them, where they are located, or what they do. So let's examine the hackerspace world and explore why you should give a crap about it.'
snydeq writes: InfoWorld's Riyaj Shamsudeen offers an in-depth look at Oracle Database 12c, which he calls a 'true cloud database,' bringing a new level of efficiency and ease to database consolidation. 'In development for roughly four years, Oracle Database 12c introduces so many important new capabilities in so many areas — database consolidation, query optimization, performance tuning, high availability, partitioning, backup and recovery — that even a lengthy review has to cut corners. Nevertheless, in addition to covering the big ticket items, I'll give a number of the lesser enhancements their due,' writes Riyaj Shamsudeen. 'Having worked with the beta for many months, I can tell you that the quality of software is also impressive, starting with a smooth RAC cluster installation. As with any new software release, I did encounter a few minor bugs. Hopefully these have been resolved in the production release that arrived yesterday.'
snydeq writes: Meetings, know-nothing managers, productivity metrics — InfoWorld's informal developer poll sheds light on what's standing between you and the next generation of great software. 'No one is happy with how quickly developers change the world, and everyone wants the code to flow like water from a fire hose, but no one wants to give developers what they need to get the job done. The same boss who wants the job finished yesterday won't hire more people, buy faster machines, or do any of the dozens of things that make it easier for programmers to just program. Here are 15 real-world roadblocks to programming progress, each of which is getting in the way of building the next generation of software. Our informal survey was surprisingly easy. When the developers suspected they were talking with a sympathetic ear, they poured out their complaints.'
snydeq writes: Colleagues can be both allies and adversaries, and InfoWorld's Dan Tynan discusses how IT can cope with the eight worst types of coworkers. 'These are people you deal with on a regular basis, largely because you have no choice. But even when their intentions are good, they can still cause you all manner of grief. They range from BYOD Betty, who insists on using her iPhone at work (but wants you to support it) to Cloudy Claudette, who's running her own shadow IT organization with the help of public cloud providers. And if Legacy Larry is your CEO, you might still be using hardware or software that hasn't been updated since the grunge era.'
Freshly Exhumed writes: Add another global crisis to the list, courtesy of the recently completed SCS2013 Conference in Reykjavík, Iceland: 'Each year, 12 million hectares of land, where 20 million tonnes of grain could have been grown, are lost to land degradation. In the past 40 years, 30 percent of the planet’s arable (food-producing) land has become unproductive due to erosion', according to a new paper released May 30 by the World Resources Institute.' Hard to have a sense of humus about that.
snydeq writes: The Squeaky Wheel's Brian Katz offers a refreshingly simple take on the buzz around BYOD in business organizations these days: 'BYOD is only an issue because people refuse to realize that it's just about ownership — nothing more and nothing less.' A 'hidden issue' hiding in plain view, BYOD's ownership issue boils down to money and control. 'BYOD is pretty clear: It's bringing your own device. It isn't the company's device or your best friend's device. It's your device, and you own it. Because you own the device, you have certain rights to what is on the device and what you can do with the device. This is the crux of every issue that comes with BYOD programs.'
snydeq writes: 'The 23rd century may seem a long way off, but you'd be surprised by how much of the future predicted by Star Trek is already here. We already have handheld communicators (smartphones), sassy voice-driven computers (Siri), Geordi La Forge-like vision (Google Glass), and at least 4.5 billion Earth-like planets to choose from. (Whether any of them contain green-skinned alien babes in gold bikinis is still to be determined.) As for warp drives, transporters, phasers, and the rest? It will be here sooner than you think. Join us as we boldly go on a tour of Trek tech.'
snydeq writes: For more than a decade we've been hearing that online privacy is dead, and it's hard to argue with the evidence. Law enforcement agencies routinely obtain location and call data from wireless carriers, government agencies can access data from cloud storage with minimal judicial oversight, and then there's CISPA, by which Congress wants to enable private companies to share even more customer data with Uncle Sam. And that says nothing about the increasing online tracking and data mining being done by private entities. 'Despite this gloomy assessment, all hope is not lost. While threats to our personal privacy expand daily, so do potential solutions — whether it's new privacy legislation, enhanced regulation, stealth computing technology, or the emergence of a consumer-driven data economy.'
snydeq writes: If you avoid some gotchas and keep a close eye on resource usage, you can have a handy server in the Amazon cloud for free, InfoWorld's Serdar Yegulalp reports. 'In the long run, any serious AWS user will want to take fuller advantage of what the Amazon cloud has to offer — but why not make the most of the free resources in the meantime? The free tier is a great way to find one's legs with AWS, start some projects, and maybe even build a functional application or three.' Servers, storage, databases, data transfer — the article offers tips on billing, I/O usage, elastic addresses, and backup.
snydeq writes: We need bare-bones Linux distros tailored for virtual machines or at least the option for installs, writes Deep End's Paul Venezia. 'As I prepped a new virtual server template the other day, it occurred to me that we need more virtualization-specific Linux distributions or at least specific VM-only options when performing an install. A few distros take steps in this direction, such as Ubuntu and OEL jeOS (just enough OS), but they're not necessarily tuned for virtual servers. For large installations, the distributions in use are typically highly customized on one side or the other — either built as templates and deployed to VMs, or deployed through the use of silent installers or scripts that install only the bits and pieces required for the job. However, these are all handled as one-offs. They're generally not available or suitable for general use.'
snydeq writes: Computer scientists have unleashed hordes of humanlike social bots to infiltrate Facebook — and they are awfully effective, InfoWorld reports. 'These social bots masquerade as online users, adding posts that seem like they came from real people. But they secretly promote products or viewpoints, and some you might friend use their new connections to siphon off your private information. When coordinated by a botmaster, these social bots can wreak havoc and steal information at a massive scale.... Furthermore, because so many services build on top of social networks, the risk runs deeper. Many technologies, including data sharing and backups, integrate with sites like Facebook. Their authentication schemes rely on the implicit trust network that social bots are designed to break into.'
snydeq writes: From forced maintenance teams to locking out all libraries, Andrew C. Oliver lists 16 surefire ways to torture developers — and watch them walk out the door. 'Having great developers means creating a great environment. In an increasingly competitive world, that means everything from free food to paid screw-off time. But not everyone has gotten the message. Some places still practice developer abuse. Here are its many forms. Do not indulge in more than one or two, or you may never see your best developers again.'
snydeq writes: "Everyone knows the secret to business success is to hire great talent. But some of the most talented employees around might already be working for you — and you may not even know it. From holding a hackathon to identify closet geeks, to establishing extracurricular projects for employees to show off their skills, IT managers and business leaders offer 7 tips for finding and fostering hidden IT talent within your organization."
snydeq writes: "Java founder James Gosling sees promise in JNI, which modifies standard Java to package runtime, as well as native and Java application code on iOS devices, InfoWorld reports. 'Java has been on iOS for quite a while' via Oracle ADF Mobile, Gosling notes. 'The catch is that to deal with an arcane nit in the Apple terms of service, the JIT code generator has to be turned off. I'm not at Oracle, and I'm not involved, but I'd be willing to wager that JEP 178 can be used as a part of complying with the Apple TOS (terms of service) without turning off code generation.'"