Enterprise and startups are moving to cloud-based infrastructure to create an API-enabled value chain for new products and workflows. With this has emerged the idea of serverless infrastructure: running functions and applications completely in cloud-based servers where the hosting provider handles all of the sysadmin requirements.This is a new frontier in how business is leveraging cloud, and it is set to explode, especially amongst system integrators and consultants, as more data from sensors and machines are incorporated and as traditional businesses move even more of their IT infrastructure to the cloud.But to take advantage of this opportunity, businesses need to have their services and data accessible via application programming interfaces (API), which for most businesses is still just an emerging trend.[ Give yourself a technology career advantage with InfoWorld's Deep Dive technology reports and Computerworld's career trends reports. GET A 15% DISCOUNT through Jan. 15, 2017: Use … [Read more...] about Daisy-chaining APIs makes serverless sense
The internet of things is real, and it’s a real part of the cloud. A key challenge is how you can get data processed from so many devices. Cisco Systems predicts that cloud traffic is likely to rise nearly fourfold by 2020, increasing 3.9 zettabytes (ZB) per year in 2015 (the latest full year for which data is available) to 14.1ZB per year by 2020.As a result, we could have the cloud computing perfect storm from the growth of IoT. After all, IoT is about processing device-generated data that is meaningful, and cloud computing is about using data from centralized computing and storage. Growth rates of both can easily become unmanageable.[ Read the InfoWorld reviews: Amazon eases developers into IoT. | Azure brings IoT to .Net developers. | Stay up on cloud happenings with InfoWorld's Cloud Computing Report newsletter. ]So what do we do? The answer is something called “edge computing.” We already know that computing at the edge pushes most of the data processing … [Read more...] about Make sense of edge computing vs. cloud computing
This week, a Congressional committee held hearings on the mergers of SBC with AT&T and Verizon with MCI. While some might worry about consolidation, the mergers are a sign that the telcos are preparing for a new wave of competition from businesses previously confined to other parts of the economy. The telecom industry is going through numerous changes, partly due to technological innovations and partly due to a lightening of regulatory restrictions. On the innovation side, the change from land-line based phone service to Internet telephony has massive consequences for any business in the sector who refuses to change. Feeling the Pressure Voice over Internet protocol, otherwise known as VoIP, has shaken the telecom industry like the car shook the horse-and-buggy business. The ability to turn voice communications into packets of data means that your telephone company might also be your cable, wireless, satellite or power line company. Competition has exploded, highlighting … [Read more...] about Telecom Mergers Make Sense
A new, flexible robotic suit funded by the U.S. military's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency could enable soldiers to walk longer distances with less fatigue and also improve mobility for disabled civilians. Called the "Soft Exosuit," the biologically inspired device is made of flexible textiles woven together into a piece of smart clothing that is pulled on like a pair of pants and intended to be worn under a soldier's regular gear. The suit mimics the action of the wearer's leg muscles and tendons when walking and provides small but carefully timed assistance at the joints of the leg without restricting the wearer's movement. The Soft Exosuit is being developed by Harvard's Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering through a US$2.9 million contract awarded by DARPA last week as part of its Warrior Web program. Also collaborating on the project is athletics company New Balance, which will contribute textile and apparel innovation expertise. A Built-In 'Brain' … [Read more...] about Soft Super-Suit Could Make Soldiers Stronger
Virus protection giant McAfee is expanding its security empire with the acquisition of Secure Computing. The company announced plans for the purchase Monday morning. It'll pay US$465 million, or $5.75 per share, in the merger. The move will no doubt help expand McAfee's suite of security-related products as it works to compete with the market's top provider, Symantec. Secure Computing's stock jumped close to 25 percent following the news. Fast Action The decision didn't take long to reach; it was just a couple of weeks ago that Secure Computing made a purchase of its own, acquiring identity-monitoring firm Securify for $15 million. "It's been a pretty quick thing," Secure Computing senior vice president of marketing Atri Chatterjee told the E-Commerce Times. "They approached us and said, 'What do you think of this idea?'" The joining will integrate Secure Computing as part of McAfee's network security division. Current Secure Computing CEO Dan Ryan will head up that division, … [Read more...] about McAfee Makes Enterprise Bid With $465M Secure Computing Buy
For some businesses, Apple's App Store rules just don't make business sense. It all comes down to Apple's 30 percent cut of App Store-based sales and a business' existing customer base. To reach consumers through the iOS App Store, Apple's basic terms are pretty simple: If an iOS-running Apple customer buys an app, Apple gets 30 percent of the sale price. If the customer buys an add-on product through the app, called an "in-app purchase," Apple also gets a 30 percent cut. In exchange for this 30 percent cut, Apple not only delivers a kick-ass hardware, software, and store experience but also serves up all the data from its data centers and handles all of the e-commerce payment processing. You would think that running e-commerce from the Web or mobile devices would be easy these days, but it's not. It can be surprisingly painful, especially for new developers and growing businesses. For a guy in a garage with a great idea, these terms -- and opportunity -- are pretty amazing. But Not … [Read more...] about What Happens When Apple’s Rules Stop Making Sense
Small businesses have their share of difficulties, but do they have any chance of succeeding in a world dominated by eBay, Amazon and the like? The short answer is yes -- if they combine the right mix of technology, marketing and customer service. "The goliaths of the online world are everywhere. The biggest struggle young companies face when bringing their business online is getting noticed," Chris Hall, marketing programs strategist and tactician for Chris Hall Marketing, told the E-Commerce Times. Nana Bonsra, CEO and cofounder of Priceshoppe.com, can back up that statement firsthand. Her consumer electronics, computer software and hardware company started out as a brick-and-mortar store in a small town outside of Charlotte, N.C., but she soon realized the competition was too fierce -- especially with a Wal-Mart and BestBuy located in the neighborhood. The company was doing poorly, so she decided to relaunch it as an online-only retailer, investing about US$100,000 in inventory, … [Read more...] about Can a Small Biz Make It Online?
Google has struck a deal to have international technology supplier Ingram Micro distribute its enterprise search tools. The agreement is the search giant's most aggressive bid yet to foster growth in its relatively fledgling corporate search division. Ingram Micro will sell the Google Mini and the Google Search Appliance hardware and software solutions meant to help corporations quickly track down data on their networks. The products will be available immediately in the U.S. and will be rolled out in overseas markets over time, the companies said Wednesday. Reaching More Customers Ingram doesn't sell directly to end users, but instead supplies third-party solutions providers and value-added resellers with technology that they use to build more complete solutions for customers. Google expects the agreement to help it reach small to mid-sized businesses, slightly larger enterprises, and the government and education niche. The enterprise unit now has 9,000 customers using one of the … [Read more...] about Google Makes Enterprise Search Play With Ingram Deal
There's just never a dull moment here in the Linux blogosphere, whether there's big news being made at the moment or not. Some weeks, we have wild activity surrounding the latest moves from Canonical, for example, or perhaps Adobe's latest affront; such happenings are virtually guaranteed to generate some lively conversation. Even in other weeks, though, where the news days might seem slower, there's never a shortage of things to talk about. Case in point? Just last Monday, when all the Linux world was still waking up from the weekend, a lone voice rang out with the question, "is open source anti-profit?" A hush quickly fell over the Linux blogosphere as FOSS fans far and wide pondered the implications. 'Some Think It Is Immoral' It was ITworld's Brian Proffitt who gave voice to the troubling question after reading a recent interview with Eucalyptus CEO Marten Mickos by New York Times blogger Quentin Hardy. "Some people in open source think it is immoral to make a profit. I … [Read more...] about Is It Wrong to Make a Profit From FOSS?
Scientists have unveiled a see-through wrist cuff that measures the level of glucose in the bloodstream of diabetic patients and administers a drug to lower that level if needed. It's not yet a full-blown treatment-for one thing, the experimental version can't provide enough of the drug to do the trick-but it should be of great use in monitoring patients. It's also an actual application for a newfangled material in sore need of one: graphene, a superthin form of carbon with interesting electronic properties. By itself, graphene can't sense glucose, but if you dope 2-D carbon properly, it can become quite a useful elecrochemistry set. The inventors-working in South Korea, Massachusetts and Texas-doped the graphene with minute quantities of gold to get the effect they wanted. They describe their work in this week's issue of the journal Nature. The idea of replacing the failing function of a diabetic pancreas dates even further back than the isolation of the critical pancreatic hormone … [Read more...] about Graphene Wristband Senses Your Blood Sugar-and Treats It
The Mozilla Foundation, which distributes the open source Firefox Web browser, has created a corporate subsidiary to support its money-making activities and help widen the use of its products, it announced on Wednesday. While the goals of the subsidiary, called Mozilla Corp., include generating revenue and profit, its primary interest is not in making money, the group said. Instead, its main objective is to sustain the development of Firefox and other products, and help the foundation promote its goal of driving open standards on the Web, it said. “The Mozilla Corporation is not a typical commercial entity. Rather, it is dedicated to the public benefit goal at the heart of the Mozilla project, which is to keep the Internet open and available to everyone," Mitchell Baker, a former Netscape attorney who becomes president of Mozilla Corp., said in a statement. [ The Windows 10 developer’s dilemma: Go Universal or stick with the desktop? The choice won't be easy. | Stay up on … [Read more...] about Mozilla creates money-making subsidiary InfoWorld
I seem to have struck a nerve with my post "Cloud computing will kill these 3 technologies," including my assertion that that design-time service governance would fall by the wayside when considering the larger cloud computing picture. Although this is unwelcome news for some, the end result will still be the same and a prediction I stand by. [ Get the no-nonsense explanations and advice you need to take real advantage of cloud computing in InfoWorld editors' 21-page Cloud Computing Deep Dive PDF special report. | Stay up on the cloud with InfoWorld's Cloud Computing Report newsletter. ] My good friend Joe McKendrick pointed out the issue of design-time governance, and I thought the most supportive argument was made by Phil Wainewright, the SaaS and cloud computing blogger at ZDNet: [ Download InfoWorld's quick guide and get started with Azure Mobile Services for building apps today. | Stay up on the cloud with InfoWorld's Cloud Computing newsletter. ]However I think Dave Linthicum's … [Read more...] about Why design-time service governance makes less sense in the cloud
Dear Bob ... Your recent column in Keep the Joint Running, "The importance of being a person," hit home with me. The idea that to manage your career you have to be more than (as you put it) a "sack o' skills" makes perfect sense. [ Also on InfoWorld: At the other end of the spectrum, Bob has tips for first-time job seekers in "Getting hired takes more than a college degree" | Get sage IT career advice from Bob Lewis' Advice Line newsletter. ] Give yourself a technology career advantage with InfoWorld\'s Deep Dive technology reports and Computerworld\'s career trends reports. GET A 15% DISCOUNT through Jan.15, 2017: Use code 8TIISZ4Z.Except being a "person" is no longer enough. I have been that for years. Two weeks ago, I was laid off. I work in a very small group, isolated in a location quite distant from headquarters (we were acquired in an acquisition). Our manager actually moved so that he would be face to face with his manager and have more opportunities. Our group paid for itself … [Read more...] about Make yourself known in the right work circles
The vast majority of people would prefer to age in place. That is, they want to stay in their own homes for as long as possible rather than going into a nursing home. Most houses are not built with the evolving needs of a senior citizen in mind, however. Making a home safe and comfortable for an older resident means removing dangers a younger person might not even consider. If an older member of your family is moving in with you or if you want to make sure their current residence remains a safe haven, consider making these changes in various areas of the home. Whole House Medical Alert Systems If you have to leave your parents or grandparents on their own much of the time, medical alert systems make a lot of sense. Basic medical alert systems feature a console and a call button that is worn around the neck or attached to clothing. If your loved one is monitored and falls when no one is around, they simply push the button and someone at the medical alert systems center will either speak … [Read more...] about Making a House Feel Like Home for a Senior
Linux system administrators get the big bucks The Linux job market has been hot for a while, and system administrators make top dollar. But being a successful Linux system admin requires some education and training. SJVN at ZDNet reports: [ Give yourself a technology career advantage with InfoWorld's Deep Dive technology reports and Computerworld's career trends reports. GET A 15% DISCOUNT through Jan. 15, 2017: Use code 8TIISZ4Z. ] Want a good job in tech? Then learning Linux is well worth your time. In 2013, the tech job site Dice reported that senior Linux administrators were making $90,853. Last year, Dice stated that Linux jobs were more in demand than ever and that salaries and bonuses were going up. But, to really go places you need to prove your mad Linux skills with a certification. The newest of these certifications, the Linux Foundation Certified SysAdmin and Engineer, appears to be both really popular with companies and really hard. More at ZDNet The Linux Foundation … [Read more...] about Linux system administrators make big bucks
In 2009, President Obama started a new energy program called ARPA-E with funds from the American Recovery and Investment Act. The program, modeled after the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), is designed to help develop high-risk energy technologies to the point where investors or other government agencies can bring them to market. Here’s a look at the program’s progress so far. Steady funding Since getting an initial $400 million six years ago, the program has received somewhere between $180 and $280 million each fiscal year ending in September, except for 2010. ARPA-E has received $280 million in the past two fiscal years, and the White House asked Congress to boost that to $325 in 2016. However, it appears that the final amount will be less than that. If current budget bills go forward, ARPA-E would receive equal or slightly higher amounts of funding compared to the past two years. As of February, ARPA-E had invested about $1.1 billion in more than 400 … [Read more...] about Is ARPA-E Making Any Progress?
Tabletop touch screens such as Microsoft’s Surface are designed for sharing and collaboration, but it’s difficult for them to tell one person from another. Researchers in the U.K. have developed a new way to identify different users: via mobile phones. The prototype system, called PhoneTouch, lets users manipulate onscreen objects, such as photos, or select buttons, by touching any part of their phone to the screen. This also makes it possible to personalize interactions, says Hans Gellersen, a professor of interactive systems at the University of Lancaster, who developed the system with his student Dominik Schmidt. PhoneTouch also makes it possible to transfer files between the phone and the surface. “Surfaces in general are good for working together in parallel,” says Gellersen. “But when people work together they also want to bring information into the group.” PhoneTouch uses a camera positioned beneath the surface to recognize finger contact. The … [Read more...] about Cell Phones Make a Touch Surface Smarter
At the microblogging company Twitter’s San Francisco headquarters, in the sixth-floor conference room, founder Evan Williams was declining to tell me anything about the company’s strategies to earn revenues when, suddenly, his cofounder Biz Stone blurted, “Whoa!” It was 10:10 a.m. on January 7, and it would prove to be the latest Twitter Moment, showing how far the service has moved beyond its early status as an amplifier of personal minutiae and confession. A minor earthquake had just struck: a magnitude 4.1 temblor centered 45 miles to the southeast. Throughout the Bay Area, thousands of Twitter users seized their smart phones or PCs to peck out 140-character-or-less tweets–updates in the form of text messages, Web-based instant messages, or posts on Twitter’s website. Quake-related tidbits coursed through the company’s servers at the rate of 296 per minute, according to tracking done by the U.S. Geological Survey. The quake was felt more … [Read more...] about Can Twitter Make Money? – MIT Technology Review
If you haven’t come across compressive sensing, you will do soon. It’s a way of sampling and reconstructing an analogue signal at a rate far lower than standard information theory would deem possible. If you’re curious, Olga Holtz from the University of California, Berkeley, has prepared a handy primer so you can impress your friends with your superior knowledge when they finally stumble across it. Holtz points out that the conventional limit is determined by the Shannon-Nyquist-Whittaker sampling theory which states that perfect reconstruction is possible only when the sampling frequency is greater than twice the maximum frequency of the signal under study. Entire fields of electronics engineering and information theory are based on this idea; unnecessarily as it now turns out. Compressive sensing relies on the fact that most analogue signals have a structure of some kind that can be exploited to reconstruct them. Know this structure and the signal can be … [Read more...] about Why compressive sensing will change the world
Top computer scientists from around the world are meeting today at Dartmouth College in Hanover, NH, to mark the 50th anniversary of “artificial intelligence.” Back in 1956, John McCarthy, then a member of Dartmouth’s mathematics faculty, invented the term for the field’s seminal gathering, the Dartmouth Summer Research Project on Artificial Intelligence. McCarthy and four other participants in the 1956 project, including MIT’s Marvin Minsky, are participating in this week’s meeting, which focuses on AI’s next 50 years. Mathematical and philosophical breakthroughs by Alan Turing, John von Neumann, Herbert Simon, Allen Newell, and other giants of computer science made the 1950s a time of great optimism about machine intelligence. Researchers believed they would soon be able to program computers to simulate many forms of human reasoning. Expert systems would embody and manipulate knowledge in the form of symbolic logic. Artificial neural networks … [Read more...] about Marvin Minsky on Common Sense and Computers That Emote