The software we run has never been more difficult to vouchsafe than it is today. It is scattered between local deployments and cloud services, built with open source components that aren’t always a known quantity, and delivered on a fast-moving schedule, making it a challenge to guarantee safety or quality.The end result is software that is hard to audit, reason about, secure, and manage. It is difficult not just to know what a VM or container was built with, but what has been added or removed or changed and by whom. Grafeas, originally devised by Google, is intended to make these questions easier to answer.[ Are you ready for the container invasion? Learn how to get started with Kubernetes. | Keep up with the latest developments in cloud computing with InfoWorld’s Cloud Computing newsletter. ]What is Grafeas?Grafeas is an open source project that defines a metadata API for software components. It is meant to provide a uniform metadata schema that allows VMs, … [Read more...] about What is Google Grafeas? Better auditing for containers
We live in a world where we like to name things. In the case of cloud computing, the names revolve around patterns of use: public cloud, private cloud, and hybrid cloud. Now there’s a new term, multicloud, for an emerging pattern of use for cloud computing.Terms and definitions“Multicloud” means using more than a single public cloud. That usage pattern arose when enterprises tried to avoid dependence on a single public cloud provider, when they chose specific services from each public cloud to get the best of each, or when they wanted both benefits.[ Learn all about the cloud at InfoWorld. Start with the basics: What is cloud computing? Everything you need to know now. Then learn what is IaaS (infrastructure as a service), what is PaaS (platform as a service), and what is SaaS (software as a service). ]Defined: “Multicloud” vs. “hybrid cloud”So, how does multicloud relate to hybrid cloud? Some people use them interchangeably, but they do … [Read more...] about What is multicloud? The next step in cloud computing explained
One of the most popular forms of cloud computing is software-as-a-service (SaaS), defined as a software distribution model in which a service provider hosts applications for customers and makes them available to these customers via the internet.SaaS is one of the three major categories of cloud services, along with infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) and platform-as-a-service (PaaS).[ Learn all about the cloud at InfoWorld. Start with the basics: What is cloud computing? Everything you need to know now. Then learn what is IaaS (infrastructure as a service) and what is PaaS (platform as a service). ]Given its ease of access, SaaS has become a common delivery model for many types of business applications, and it has been incorporated into the delivery strategies of enterprise software vendors.There are SaaS offerings available for a variety of business applications, including email and collaboration, customer relationship management (CRM), billing/payroll processing, sales management, … [Read more...] about What is SaaS? Software-as-a-service defined
Today, Structured Query Language is the standard means of manipulating and querying data in relational databases, though with proprietary extensions among the products. The ease and ubiquity of SQL have even led the creators of many “NoSQL” or non-relational data stores, such as Hadoop, to adopt subsets of SQL or come up with their own SQL-like query languages.But SQL wasn’t always the “universal” language for relational databases. From the beginning (circa 1980), SQL had certain strikes against it. Many researchers and developers at the time, including me, thought that the overhead of SQL would keep it from ever being practical in a production database.[ Database slow? Improve the speed and scalability of your RDBMS with these 21 rules for faster SQL queries. | Keep up with the hottest topics in programming with InfoWorld’s App Dev Report newsletter. ]Clearly, we were wrong. But many still believe that, for all of SQL’s ease and accessibility, … [Read more...] about What is SQL? The query language of databases explained
Today, Structured Query Language is the standard means of manipulating and querying data in relational databases, though with proprietary extensions among the products. The ease and ubiquity of SQL have even led the creators of many “NoSQL” or non-relational data stores, such as Hadoop, to adopt subsets of SQL or come up with their own SQL-like query languages.But SQL wasn’t always the “universal” language for relational databases. From the beginning (circa 1980), SQL had certain strikes against it. Many researchers and developers at the time, including me, thought that the overhead of SQL would keep it from ever being practical in a production database.[ Database slow? Improve the speed and scalability of your RDBMS with these 21 rules for faster SQL queries. | Keep up with the hottest topics in programming with InfoWorld’s App Dev Report newsletter. ]Clearly, we were wrong. But many still believe that, for all of SQL’s ease and accessibility, … [Read more...] about What is SQL? The query language of databases
People get sick, and back in the Middle Ages they would use leeches and razors to bleed them until they got better (read this to once again be really happy you didn't live in the Middle Ages). The practice didn't work that well -- yet if we look at what we do to sick divisions and companies, it is effectively the same thing. We cut investments, freeze salaries, make layoffs, and shave marketing expenses and then seem fascinated when the firms don't recover. I just finished a review of the Lenovo acquisition of the IBM x86 server division, which IBM thought was unfixable -- much like it thought its PC Company was unfixable -- and damned if Lenovo didn't fix it. To me, this suggests there is a more up-to-date way of fixing firms that has a good chance of turning them around, rather than simply making them sicker. I'll share some thoughts on that and close with my product of the week: an interesting online service that allows people to collect around initiatives they believe in and bribe … [Read more...] about What If There Were a Hospital for Sick Companies?
A Tesla S caught fire last week. I have a lot of experience with cars, with lithium-ion batteries -- and with both cars and batteries catching fire. For a time, I was the lead battery analyst in the U.S., and my house nearly burned down when a lithium-ion battery pack decided to fail while charging. (Thank goodness I'd also been trained to fight fires). I should also mention I've blown up at least one car accidentally, and over the years I've totaled one car myself and have been run into so many times I think my nickname should be "crash dummy." And my hobby is tricking out a reasonably old Jag. I've tested the Tesla S extensively and driven the earlier roadster, and I think I can bring a bit of perspective to the flaming Tesla stories that caused the company's stock to crater last week. I'll close with my product of the week: the new and truly wonderful TiVo Roamio. Batteries vs. Gas One of the reasons gas cars continue to outsell and provide better value than electric cars is … [Read more...] about The ‘Catastrophic’ Tesla S Fire: A Perspective
The Apple Watch is not a watch. So what exactly is it? Or for that matter, what is any smartwatch from any other maker? No one has done a good job of creating a brand identity for the new segment yet. That leaves the space wide open. Rather than think of the smartwatch as a watch, we should think of it as a smartphone extension. It just happens to be strapped to your wrist, looks like a watch, and tells time along with many other things. However, even though these devices tell time, they are not watches. They work through the smartphone on our belt or in our pocket. In fact, they are sort of like what cartoon character Dick Tracy wore for communication. This is a brand new category. So far, no one company has done a good job of defining and owning this new space. However, riches and glory will go to the company that can do that. Wide Open Category What do I mean? Hachoo! Excuse me. Thank you for giving me a Kleenex. Did you know that "Kleenex" is not the brand identity? "Tissue" is … [Read more...] about What Is the Apple Watch if Not a Watch?
"Does negative press make you Sicko?" That's the title of Google ad rep Lauren Turner's post in a new company blog for the healthcare industry. "Sicko" is a reference to Michael Moore's latest documentary, now out in theaters, which examines access to healthcare in the U.S. "Moore attacks health insurers, health providers, and pharmaceutical companies by connecting them to isolated and emotional stories of the system at its worst," she says. "Moore's film portrays the industry as money- and marketing-driven, and fails to show healthcare's interest in patient well-being and care." It's Turner's next statement, though, that's responsible for fomenting the Moore-like controversy. One possible solution, she suggests, would be for healthcare providers to advertise -- using Google's AdWords to place their messages next to movie reviews or other related subjects. "We can place text ads, video ads and rich media ads in paid search results or in relevant Web sites within our ever-expanding … [Read more...] about Is ‘Sicko’ Post a Chink in Google’s Armor?
Was it only four years ago that the anti-Facebook crowd was backlashing against the concept of the News Feed? Time sure flies when you're accusing the world's biggest social network of invading its users' privacy. Forget about the current spasm of criticism; hating on Facebook has been the default setting for a sizable portion of the technosphere -- and, it seems, a big chunk of the network's users -- for a while. Type in "anti-Facebook groups" in Google and you get a hit parade of mainstream media articles and blog posts zeroing in on Mark Zuckerberg's creation. Time Magazine focused on the anger expressing itself back in 2006 with a flurry of "I Hate Facebook" groups on the network, venting about the then-new News Feed, which announced all your friends' activities to the world -- so-and-so likes this, whats-his-face is now friends with that-guy-there, etc. Facebook was barely more than a college-based Web phenomenon and had just made itself available to membership for anyone 13 years … [Read more...] about Facebook Is Flirting With a Big Business Backlash
For Apple TV fans, the new Apple TV is the long-awaited upgrade we've been pining for, and while it's a welcome addition to my living room, I'm only half as impressed as I thought I would be. After spending some quality time -- and some not-so-quality time -- I'll share my experience, which, it turns out, all comes down to this: The new Apple TV is an excellent set-top box, and it provides a foundation for the app-centric living room TV experience of the future... but damn, Apple, you spent how many years not getting this thing polished? All of the issues with the new Apple TV are relatively minor, and most could be adjusted or fixed with software updates -- but the overall notion that I have, after using the Apple TV for just a couple of days, is that Apple's quest for secrecy must be getting in the way of its ability to test things in real-world environments. For example, it's as if Apple didn't test the new Apple TV in a darkened living room environment. The white background of the … [Read more...] about Is Apple TV a Worthy Upgrade? Sort Of
Here in the world of technology, there's no denying that developers of even the most creative new products and ideas "stand on the shoulders of giants," just as innovators in most other realms do too. New ideas inspire more new ideas over time, after all, so it's not surprising to see myriad commonalities and linkages among them. Lately, however, that notion is being examined a little more closely than usual in light of recent revelations about Microsoft's forthcoming Windows 8 and -- in particular -- how much it has in common with Linux. 'Does Windows Do It Better?' "Eight features Windows 8 borrowed from Linux" is the name of the ITworld article that kicked off the conversation in the Linux blogosphere earlier this month, and the ruckus hasn't died down since. File copy dialogue and ISO mounting are among the features the article names while asking provocatively, "Linux got there first, but does Windows do it better?" Individual comments could barely be heard over the sound of … [Read more...] about Is Windows 8 a Linux Copycat?
As the industry matures and the manufacturers innovate with new features, the picture gets even more muddled. In the end, Iâm not really sure if we can really define what a netbook is anymore, especially when all of these companies are constantly competing to get a leg up on one another. Letâs have a look at five of the main characteristics that have defined the netbook market to dateâ¦ and how these characteristics arenât entirely true anymore. 1. Priced at Under $400 One of the biggest draws to the world of the netbook is that the small computers are supposed to be remarkably affordable. When Asus first unveiled the Eee PC to the world, we were told that it would only be a few hundred dollars. When the original OLPC XO Laptop was shown off, we were told that it would cost under a $100. By and large, it is still very much possible to find a decent netbook from Dell, Acer, and other companies for less than $400, but this is no longer a defining characteristic. If you choose to … [Read more...] about Feature â What is the Proper Definition of a Netbook?
Dear Bob ... I'm an IT manager. I manage a team of technicians and project managers. I love what I do. I am passionate about project and people. My performance reviews have been strong. I don't like to roll over and agree with everything the people above me want me to do. My team, I believe, would follow me into any battle knowing I will do my best to protect them from harm. [ 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. ]I am one of those people that everyone confides in knowing I can be trusted. I am one of those people everyone gravitates toward because of my incredible positive outlook on life. I couldn't have been happier. Now, I'm depressed. I feel nauseated all the time. I can't sleep. I'm not eating well. Why? Last week, I was told my job is being eliminated due to the department being restructured. I can't get my boss to admit he … [Read more...] about What to do after a demotion
I often wonder who will ultimatly take the lion's share of the database market. Oracle and Microsoft seem to have a strong lead while IBM and Sybase seem to be lagging behind. And for some reason Sybase seems to be almost not even on the same course as the others. So I was on the phone with one of the IBM execs last week, and I asked him why I never see DB2 in full production in companies I visit, and when I do, it's usually only in the process of being transitioned to Oracle or SQL Server. He was quite frank with me and said that IBM hadn't been as good at marketing DB2 as they'd like. I didn't really get whether there were any active plans to increase the marketing campaign or not, but he was very discouraged to hear that DB2 isn't more ubiquitous than it is. The truth is that DB2 has some ground-breaking features that could take the database world to the next level. I think we can all agree that IBM has always pioneered database research. Their last couple versions of DB2 have … [Read more...] about What is the Future of DB2?
When it comes to search, Microsoft has been like the Ty-D-Bol Man, stuck in a leaky rowboat with the Smurf-blue waters rising on all sides. It's desperately hoping that Bing, the newly reincarnated version of Live Search unveiled by Steve "The Mad" Ballmer at this week's All Things D confab, will toss the company a lifeline. Yeah, well, maybe. But before we get into that, let's get a few things straight. [ Previously in Notes from the Field: "Microsoft hopes Bing's the thing to revive Live Search" | Stay up to date on Robert X. Cringely's musings and observations with InfoWorld's Notes from the Underground newsletter. ] First, it's not a search engine, it's a "decision engine." Got it? Good. That distinction is apparently important. Why, I'm not exactly sure. Also: Your fingers aren't actually fingers, they're individualized keyboard activators. And your eyes? Binocular sensory input devices. By and large, the cynical journos on hand for Ballmer's dog and pony show seem to be giving … [Read more...] about Is Bing worth a fling?
Linux kernel developer Sarah Sharp quit recently after leveling charges of sexism and homophobia against the Linux kernel community. She explained her reasoning in a long post on her blog, but some Slashdot readers later exposed her use of a blocklist on Twitter and SJW tactics in some of her interactions with other developers. Sharp's blog post spawned a long thread on Slashdot, and some of the readers there noted her use of a blocklist on Twitter and SJW strategies in some of her emails with other developers: IamTheRealMike: ”It took a hell of a lot of digging, but it seems to have started with this thread [lkml.org], way back in 2013. Now, I'm all for professional communication, and emails can be easy to misinterpret, but this looks like a bit of an over-reaction. Someone commented that they send patches to Greg KH because Linus scares him, but added a winkey smiley afterwards, i.e. not really all that scary. Then Linus made a joke about Greg being big and squishing people … [Read more...] about Linux: Is Sarah Sharp a Social Justice Warrior?
How bad is Linux Mint as a desktop distribution? One redditor shared his...er...frustration with the...er...horrifically difficult experience of installing Linux Mint on his computer. This is awful, when I install Linux on the desktop I'm expecting to be able to waste a solid 8 hours chasing down random issues that were solved on all other modern desktop systems by 2008. I went into this hoping and wishing to have to crawl through linuxquestions.org threads from 2006 to figure out why plugging in a second monitor doesn't work with X.org. I want the peace and quiet that you can only get from spending 45 minutes trying to get alsa/oss/flavor of the week sound manager to work properly. I miss the subtle delicious pain of trying to figure out what I have to do to get Gnome 3 or Unity to provide desktop functionality that came standard with Windows NT 4. With what you've done here I am no longer able to do any of these things. You've taken the awful travesty of an experience that trying to … [Read more...] about Is Linux Mint a terrible desktop distribution?
Mitch Kapor likes beginnings. In 1982, he founded Lotus Development, which made the popular spreadsheet program Lotus 1-2-3. In 1990, he cofounded the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a political-advocacy and legal organization that champions free speech and privacy. And in 2003, he became the founding chair of the Mozilla Foundation, which is responsible for the open-source Web browser Firefox. Today, Kapor sits on the boards of such companies as Linden Research, and he heads his eponymous foundation, which provides grants to San Francisco Bay Area organizations working with low-income communities on educational and environmental issues. Last fall, Kapor was called upon to help Senator Barack Obama define his technology positions. Kapor suggested that Obama, if elected president, should install a federal chief technology officer. Conservatives grumbled at the idea of another layer of bureaucracy, but Kapor and others in Silicon Valley say the government needs … [Read more...] about Does the U.S. Need a CTO?
Quick access to medical treatment when-and where-it’s needed is an age-old problem for armies and disaster-relief organizations. An Oak Ridge, Tenn., startup called Tactical Medical Solutions is making a box the size of a large traveling trunk that can be popped open and expanded into an operating room ready for surgery in 30 minutes or less. Setting up the portable M.A.S.H. unit is like putting up a tent. A frame is mounted on top of the box and used to expand the room to about 9 by 9 by 3 meters. The box itself serves as the structural center; it also stores medical equipment and supplies. The prototype was developed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and will be used first by the U. S. Marines. But Tactical Medical Solutions is also talking with civilian organizations, including the Red Cross, about deploying modified versions of its “E.R. in a box.” Subscribe to Continue Reading Uh oh–you've read all of your free articles for this month. Become an Insider … [Read more...] about Instant M.A.S.H. – MIT Technology Review