snydeq writes: "Companies are no longer waiting for users to bring in their own smartphones and tablets into business environments, they're encouraging it, InfoWorld reports. 'Two of the most highly regulated industries — financial services and health care (including life sciences) — are most likely to support BYOD. So are professional services and consulting, which are "well" regulated.... The reason is devilishly simple, Herrema says: These businesses are very much based on using information, both as the service itself and to facilitate the delivery of their products and services. Mobile devices make it easier to work with information during more hours and at more locations. That means employees are more productive, which helps the company's bottom line.' Even those companies who haven't yet embraced bring your own device policies yet already have one in place, but don't know it, according to recent surveys."
snydeq writes: "If HP wants a future for struggling WebOS, it must invest in the platform, not abandon it, writes Fatal Exception's Neil McAllister. 'It seems HP may only be truly committed to the platform if it can offload the cost of developing and maintaining it. Yet if that's what HP hopes to achieve by opening the WebOS source, it's bound to be disappointed.' Instead, HP should dedicated its own developer resources and 'release as much code as possible under an Apache, BSD, or similarly permissive license. Dual licensing under the GPL might leave HP with more opportunities to monetize the platform, but it won't garner as much interest from hardware makers, who are what WebOS needs most.'"
snydeq writes: "Advice Line's Bob Lewis discusses an all-too-familiar IT mistake: the use of incidents resolved per analyst per week as a metric for assessing help-desk performance. 'If you managed the help desk in question or worked on it as an analyst, would you resist the temptation to ask every friend you had in the business to call in on a regular basis with easy-to-fix problems? Maybe you would. I'm guessing that if you resisted the temptation, not only would you be the exception, but you'd be the exception most likely to be included in the next round of layoffs,' Lewis writes. 'The fact of the matter is it's a lot easier to get metrics wrong than right, and the damage done from getting them wrong usually exceeds the potential benefit from getting them right.' In other words, when it comes to IT metrics, you get what you measure — that's the risk you take."
snydeq writes: "A new study from UCSB finds significant increases in businesses hiring organized shills to push products online. These 'malicious crowd-sourcing systems' enlist dozens or hundreds of professional shills to orchestrate mass account creation, generate bogus ratings, and post canned cut-and-paste positive reviews — with each 'task' costing between 13 and 70 cents. 'Unscrupulous crowd-sourcing sites, coupled with international payment systems, have enabled a burgeoning crowdturfing market that targets U.S. websites, but is fueled by a global workforce.'"
snydeq writes: "Security Advisor's Roger Grimes provides insights on how to stop today's increasingly sophisticated DDoS attacks. 'The most difficult challenge has been DDoS attackers' increasing sophistication as they've moved from targeting Layers 3 and 4 (routing and transport) to Layer 7 (the application layer). They've learned, for example, how to determine which elements comprise a victim's most popular Web page, honing in on which ones take the most time to load and have the least amount of redundancy,' Grimes writes. 'The most sophisticated DDoS hackers have attacked with many vectors, one at a time, thus increasing the pain. A growing number of DDoS victims have found that attackers are using these types of multipronged, multiday assaults as ruses to draw attention from more damaging attacks elsewhere on the network. '"
snydeq writes: "Today's IT organizations turn too readily to vendors, eschewing homegrown solutions to their detriment, writes Deep End's Paul Venezia. 'Back when IT was "simple," several good programmers and support staff could run the whole show. Nowadays, [companies] buy hefty support contracts and shift the burden of maintaining and troubleshooting large parts of their IT infrastructure on to the vendors who may know their own product well, but have a hard time dealing with issues that may crop up during integration with other vendors' gear.... Relying solely on support contracts and generic solutions is a good way to self-limit the agility and performance of any business. In short, more gurus equals less hand-wringing and stress all around.'"
snydeq writes: "After some tough years for IT and tech pros, high demand for tech workers is here and expected to continue in specific areas, most notably for developers, cloud experts, and business strategists, InfoWorld reports. 'Talk to anybody in tech and you'll hear analogies to the dot-com boom. A lot has changed since then, but today's job market is nearly as hot.... But don't make the mistake of thinking that jobs are going begging. They are not. Landing a position as a programmer, developer, database analyst, or support desk jockey still takes the right experience, the right education, and a willingness to chart a new career path when necessary.'"
snydeq writes: "The CPU Act being discussed in Congress to gut IT workers of overtime pay begs the question, How should IT respond? 'Because most IT workers are not members of a union (and don't seem to want unionize), it isn't clear who's fighting the bill. The AFL-CIO opposes it, but I don't know if the organization is putting real muscle into the effort,' InfoWorld's Bill Snyder writes. The AFL-CIO's Paul E. Almeida has sent a letter to Congress, saying, 'The same companies that send work offshore and bring lower-paid workers to the U.S. on H-1B visas now want to pay U.S. workers less in the U.S.,' adding that if this effort succeeds, every other industry may follow suit in gutting FLSA for every covered private-sector worker. 'Almeida is right. There's a well-organized movement afoot to blame workers in both the public and private sector for a recession caused in large part by the greedy and irresponsible actions of a small minority of corporations and individuals.'"
snydeq writes: "Fatal Exception's Neil McAllister writes in favor of new programming languages given the difficulty of upgrading existing, popular languages. 'Whenever a new programming language is announced, a certain segment of the developer population always rolls its eyes and groans that we have quite enough to choose from already,' McAllister writes. 'But once a language reaches a certain tipping point of popularity, overhauling it to include support for new features, paradigms, and patterns is easier said than done.' PHP 6, Perl 6, Python 3, ECMAScript 4 — 'the lesson from all of these examples is clear: Programming languages move slowly, and the more popular a language is, the slower it moves. It is far, far easier to create a new language from whole cloth than it is to convince the existing user base of a popular language to accept radical changes.'"
snydeq writes: "An ARM version of Windows 8 may be imminent, based on documentation Microsoft released yesterday regarding its "First Apps" contest for Metro-style apps. According to the contest guidelines, finalists, who will be notified by Jan. 15, must 'update their app to run on a new, confidential Windows 8 build provided by us and resubmit their app before February 3,' suggesting that Microsoft plans to ship a second developer version of Windows 8 — at least to this small group — on Jan. 15. While it's possible this developer version will also run only on Intel hardware, it may very likely be the realization of Steve Sinofsky's earlier promise that Metro apps will run on both Intel and ARM."
snydeq writes: "Desmond Fuller provides hands-on insight on slashing WAN costs for budget-conscious organizations, based on his experience migrating his company's MPLS network to 100Mbps Ethernet. 'Abandoning private WAN lines for fast Internet connections and VPNs isn't for everyone. The old way is proven and reliable, and I encourage you to stick with it if you can. But in this economy, everyone has to make cuts. If your WAN falls under the budget axe, know that you can build something similar on the cheap. Just be sure to insist on some kind of redundancy, even if it is only a DSL or cable modem.'"
snydeq writes: "Valid Windows NTFS folder names, rogue antivirus products, dual-boot Windows 7/Windows XP systems — find out how much you really know about everyone's favorite whipping post OS by taking the Windows IQ Test."