snydeq writes: 'If Windows 8 and the Surface tablet flop, you'll see a shareholder revolt that will send Steve Ballmer packing by this time next year,' writes InfoWorld's Bill Snyder. 'InfoWorld and I have been dumping on Windows 8 so much I'm not going to repeat the arguments. Maybe we're wrong, and buyers will decide that the new OS and the Microsoft's first serious venture into hardware are what they want. It would be a huge boost for the industry if it happens, but I'm not optimistic.... There's been a string of bad quarters, and the stock has been frozen for nine years. At some point — I think we're getting really close — investors are going to demand a shakeup. When they do, it's going to be good-bye, Ballmer.'
snydeq writes: "Steganography expert Peter Wayner discusses six techniques that help obscure the data and traces you leave online. 'The truth is, worrying about the trail of digital footprints and digital dustballs filled with our digital DNA is not just for raving paranoids. Sure, some leaks like the subtle variations in power consumed by our computers are only exploitable by teams of geniuses with big budgets, but many of the simpler ones are already being abused by identity thieves, blackmail artists, spammers, or worse.' What tools and techniques do you use to ensure greater privacy and better security of personal data on the Web?"
snydeq writes: "Facebook has said that it will soon open source Prism, an internal project that supports geographically distributed Hadoop data stores, thereby removing the limits on Hadoop's capacity to crunch data. 'The problem is that Hadoop must confine data to one physical data center location. Although Hadoop is a batch processing system, it's tightly coupled, and it will not tolerate more than a few milliseconds delay among servers in a Hadoop cluster. With Prism, a logical abstraction layer is added so that a Hadoop cluster can run across multiple data centers, effectively removing limits on capacity.'"
snydeq writes: "'They're the stuff that nightmares are made of, the rude beasts that haunt IT pros' dreams and make them wake up in a cold sweat. Look closely and you'll start to see them everywhere.' From Warewolves to Keyboard Zombies to Frankenhackers, these seven IT hellions can turn your tech department into a horror show — quick."
snydeq writes: "Simon Phipps provides an in-depth account of an ongoing shift from a MacBook Pro to a Chromebook. ' My experiences using a Chromebook for a month have been so good I believe it deserves serious consideration.... The Chromebook line is probably the most successful Linux desktop/laptop computer we've seen to date. Most of the software on the device is open source and it relies heavily on open standards. The options for updating it yourself are openly discussed, and enterprising hackers have even loaded full GNU/Linux distributions onto it.... It reminds me very much of the experience of adjusting to thin client computing five years ago. I can imagine it fitting easily into a corporate environment, especially using the administrative control features Google sells for business users. Businesses open to using a thin client desktop should be evaluating Chromebooks and Chromeboxes — they are today's open source equivalent of yesterday's proprietary thin clients and Sun Rays.'"
snydeq writes: "A billion users don't have the right hardware to run Windows 8, even if they wanted to. Here's how Microsoft could give them the best of Win8: 'Microsoft needs to get real and bring us a better Windows 7 ASAP, even as it works on the more-Metro Windows 9 that's a good two or three years away. Call it Windows 7.8. The truth is that the new Windows 8 Desktop has some very cool features for those living in the "legacy" touch-insensitive, keyboard-and-mouse environment. Maybe Microsoft can make money by selling us an upgrade to what we already have: a Windows 7.8 that brings the key new Windows 8 Desktop features home to Windows 7.'"
snydeq writes: "You don't need to be a programmer, but you'll solve harder problems faster if you can write your own code, writes Paul Venezia. 'The fact is, while we may know several programming languages to varying degrees, most IT ninjas aren't developers, per se. I've put in weeks and months of work on various large coding projects, but that's certainly not how I spend most of my time. Frankly, I don't think I could just write code day in and day out, but when I need to develop a tool to deal with a random problem, I dive right in.... It's not a vocation, and it's not a clear focus of the job, but it's a substantial weapon when tackling many problems. I'm fairly certain that if all I did was write Perl, I'd go insane.'"
snydeq writes: "InfoWorld's Paul Ferrill outlines seven new and improved 'supersaver' features that will offer IT admins the biggest return on their Windows Server 2012 investment. 'Windows Server 2012 is a monumental release packed with new features that touch every facet of the operating system.... I've identified seven Windows Server 2012 features you might call "supersavers." Listed in order of impact, these features commodify high-end functionality, eliminate the need to purchase third-party software, reduce OS care and feeding, or in the case of PowerShell, offer the potential to save vast numbers of man-hours.'"
snydeq writes: "Apple's recent shift to the iPhone 5 Lightning connector may not have impacted many businesses, but it does call into question the company's credibility in business environments, writes Advice Line's Bob Lewis. 'Apple's decision to "update" its connector to a new, proprietary replacement instead of the ubiquitious mini-USB alternative leaves those of us who work in business organizations with an important question: Can we entrust any part of our enterprise technical architecture to Apple?' Lewis writes. 'When vendors choose to ply their IT wares to business organizations, their customers have every right to expect continuity — that changes, especially interface changes, will happen only when there's a good reason, and the vendor will support older products and versions for a considerable period of time.... What matters is the thought process that led to the new connector. What we can infer is that when it comes to respecting specifications its customers rely on, Apple can't be counted on to do so.'"
snydeq writes: "It's an impulse almost every admin has faced when replacing hardware in a 'mature' datacenter: The itching desire to launch into an impromptu cleanup of the snake next of cabling that has built up over the years. 'Eventually there comes a point when the mess begins to make every task more difficult — when you need to take a step back and decide to rip everything apart and put it back together again. Sure, you can try to bend space and time to replace that switch by removing rack side panels and shoehorning it out of there, but it might be a better plan to suck it up and fix the source of the problem. Congratulations, your 10-minute project turned into several hours at best and an entire weekend at worst. Then again, this isn't always a good idea. However tempting it may be to rework objects off the cuff, you need to be cognizant of the potential threat of an unplanned housecleaning.'"
snydeq writes: "Simon Phipps discusses the 15-year evolution of the open source movement, outlining the five key forces driving open source forward today. 'Today's open source movement is more mature, and the trends underlining it are more nuanced and widely engaged. The revolution has had a meaningful impact, and to treat open source as if it is still about saving a few bucks on a software license or socking it to Microsoft is to misunderstand how far the open source movement has come. The following five trends are key drivers of today's open source communities and projects. From governance to emerging revenue models, they paint a picture of an industry evolving to see the value of the freedoms at the heart of the open source movement.'"
snydeq writes: "The end of the world may or may not be nigh, but in the tech industry, many of these 12 possibilities could easily become reality for IT. From legislation against municipal fiber, to Oracle starting charging for the JDK, to the bad guys win the war on general-purpose computing, a number of scenarios could play out in the coming years to seriously damage the technology industry and all the people who depend on it."