Marriott CIO: FCC message on WiFi blocking loud and clear

The FCC's sternly worded warning about illegal Wi-Fi blocking earlier this week got through to at least one organization: Marriott International's Global CIO issued a statement Friday that the hospitality outfit is withdrawing efforts to gain clarification from the commission on what methods can be used to protect corporate Wi-Fi networks.It was a complaint against a Marriott hotel in Nashville that blocked visitors from using personal Wi-Fi hotspots at a convention center -- and a subsequent $600K fine by the FCC -- that sparked the FCC's investigation into what it now calls a "disturbing trend in which hotels and other commercial establishments block wireless consumers from using their own personal Wi-Fi hot spots on the commercial establishment’s premises."To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 31 January 2015 | 4:50 pm

Tesla Model S "insane mode" is, well, insane

Back in October, Tesla unveiled an all wheel driver version of its popular Model S. With dual motors in tow, the new Tesla P85D version of the Model S can accelerate from 0-60 in just 3.2 seconds.During the big product unveiling, Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who you might also know as the CEO of SpaceX, explained that the car operates in three distinct modes: "normal, sport, and insane."Now you might be wondering -- just what exactly does "insane" mode feel like?Well wonder no more.The folks over at Drag Times recently put together a video which captures the reactions of unwitting passengers taking a ride in a high-end Tesla accelerating to 70 MPH in a flash.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 31 January 2015 | 2:31 pm

5 team-building tips for IT

IT talent can be hard to find and even harder to keep – which means there’s plenty of incentive to make the workplace attractive to technology pros. Culture is paramount, and focusing on organizational development can lead to more satisfied and productive workers.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here(Insider Story)

Posted by on 31 January 2015 | 12:50 pm

Ubi: Ubiquitous, always-on, voice-activated computing

Back in 2012 I backed a Kickstarter project called “Ubi”. Ubi stands for "ubiquitous"; it’s the name for a computer that is always on and voice-activated. The project was looking for $36,000 but raised $229,594 from 1,190 backers so it was a very successful campaign.UBI Another reason the campaign could be considered successful was that the project actually started delivering product at the end of 2013, about 9 months later than planned, though great communication with backers and responsiveness by teh project owners made the delay tolerable (as opposed to my crowdfunding bette noire, the Robot Dragonfly over on Indiegogo, a project which is not only two years late in delivering product but has yet to show the device actually performing! The company behind the project, TechJect, also treats its backers appallingly … but I digress).To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 30 January 2015 | 11:18 pm

Google Now adds data from Lyft, Airbnb and many more apps

Google Now just got a lot smarter, adding data from dozens of outside apps to help people get more things done as they go about their day.Google Now is a search tool and digital assistant built into Android devices and the Chrome browser, and included as part of the Google search app for iOS. Until now it’s served up information about the weather, restaurant reservations, shipping notifications and nearby events based on people’s past Google searches and reading their Gmail messages. The content is presented as “cards” that users can swipe through and dismiss as they please. The idea is to present helpful information, sometimes before people know they need it.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 30 January 2015 | 7:55 pm

Apple was innovating too quickly all the way back in 2004

Earlier this month, there was a lot of discussion surrounding what many believe is a discernible decline in Apple's software quality. Among those who lament Apple's fall from software grace, especially as it pertains to iOS, a commonly held viewpoint is that Apple's traditionally pristine "it just works" reputation has been sullied by a preoccupation with rapid innovation, multitudes of new features, and a blind allegiance to annual release cycles.While there's no need to rehash arguments on the topic yet again, I recently stumbled across an old Ars Technica article which serves to show that many believed Apple was stretching itself too thin way, and developing far too quickly, all the way back in 2004.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 30 January 2015 | 7:02 pm

NEC aims at Big Data 'sweet spot' with new SAP Hana tool

Cloud computing and SAP’s Hana in-memory database can be a powerful combination for data analysis, and new tools could help to make sure it doesn’t fall down on the job.On Friday, NEC released a tool designed to make life easier for data analysts by boosting Hana availability in the cloud.Focusing in particular on users of the Amazon Web Services cloud, the new tool takes advantage of NEC’s ExpressCluster software. The tool can automatically detect system faults as SAP Hana runs on AWS and switch over to a standby server when problems arise. The result, NEC said, is to shorten downtime and improve both availability and operational efficiency.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 30 January 2015 | 6:00 pm

West Africa turns into dumping ground for e-waste

As measures by countries in East and Southern Africa to prevent the dumping of e-waste take effect, West Africa has become a destination for old computers, mobile devices and components.European Commission and U.N. studies show that West Africa is becoming a dumping site for e-waste from various parts of the world. Meanwhile, communication technology and services firm Ericsson says West Africa is becoming highly affected by e-waste, relative to other regions on the continent.The problem is compounded by the fact that most countries in Africa do not have e-waste recycling facilities. The lack of facilities results in careless disposal of electronic products.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 30 January 2015 | 5:10 pm

Uber will fight to keep its Boston ride data private

Earlier this month, Uber agreed to provide Boston city officials a wealth of ride data to help them make better planning decisions—but it will go to considerable lengths to ensure that data is not made public.The data, which includes anonymous pick-off and drop-off locations for each Uber ride, contains confidential commercial and financial information that prohibits the city from sharing it publicly, according to Uber’s agreement with the city.While citizens are often entitled access to public records, Uber and the city agreed that the data it provided contains trade secrets, which making it exempt from public disclosure under a section of Massachusetts Public Records Law.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 30 January 2015 | 4:05 pm

Feds snatch-up $19.5M in fake NFL gear ahead of Super Bowl

In their annual pre-Super Bowl counterfeit gear strike the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency this week said it has grabbed 326,147 items of phony sports memorabilia and other fake items worth more than $19.5 million and made 52 arrests. ICE +More on Network World: FAA warns drone owners: Stay away from the Super Bowl+To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 30 January 2015 | 3:16 pm

Verizon to allow opt-out from mobile 'supercookies'

Verizon will soon allow customers to opt out of having an identifier placed on their phones that had alarmed privacy advocates due to its ability to let third parties persistently track customers.The identifier or customer code drew concerns primarily because it created so-called “supercookies” that could not be deleted by users. Verizon customers have had the ability to opt out of the company’s advertising programs, but not out of having that identifier placed on their devices.Now, “we have begun working to expand the opt-out to include the identifier referred to as the UIDH [unique identifier header], and expect that to be available soon,” a Verizon spokeswoman said Friday via email. She added that “Verizon never shares customer information with third parties as part of our advertising program.”To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 30 January 2015 | 3:10 pm

Dell celebrates disaggregation's first anniversary

Dell is celebrating the first anniversary of its Open Networking initiative, an effort to offer customers a choice of operating systems and applications on standard, merchant silicon-based hardware.Dell was one of, if not the first major vendor to disaggregate switching – separating the interdependencies of hardware and software so customers, in this case, can run a variety of operating systems on Dell switches. Juniper followed suit with an Open Compute Platform-based switch that can run its Junos operating system, or another that’s ported to the OCP-based hardware.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 30 January 2015 | 3:08 pm

Twitter's Vine Kids app is not just for kids

Twitter’s Vine video service has released a cute new app for kids, but let’s get real: This is a gateway drug.Vine Kids, released Friday on iOS, is marketed by Vine as a fun way for young children to watch Vine videos. Six-second, looped Vine videos have gained a huge following, especially among teenagers.These Vine Kid videos are quite fun. Scanning through I found creative animations and artwork, and tons of pets engaging in humorous behavior. Tons. There was a cat playing with an iPad and then doing a back-flip. In another, a cat descended from the ceiling on a string to grab a hamburger from the ground, like Tom Cruise in the film Mission: Impossible. In another, an army of cute Pokemon characters gathered on a pier.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 30 January 2015 | 2:30 pm

MIT researchers show you can be identified by a just few data points

If you thought sparse personal metadata - random chunks of data about data - was hard to mine for the purposes of identifying individuals, think again. MIT researchers have just shown that it only requires four data points (the dates and times of purchases) from a 30 day database of credit card purchases by 1.1 million people to identify 90 percent of them.Metadata has been in the news extensively over the last couple of years mainly due to the Snowden revelations about NSA spying activities. But it's not just the government that wants to know who’s doing what, when, and why because every large commercial corporation also wants the same insights into people’s behavior. But instead of (ostensibly) protecting us from terrorists as the government claims to be doing, the corporations want to figure out better ways to part us from our money. It's obvious that being able to chart consumers' economic perambulations across the commercial landscape is key to being competitive and the actionable insights gained from in-depth, accurate, and timely consumer surveillance can be the difference between a good quarter and a bad quarter.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 30 January 2015 | 1:47 pm

IDG Contributor Network: Enterprise chat for your own server

It's becoming pretty obvious that email is running rampantly out of control for communication in all but the simplest of projects within an organization. Waves of arbitrarily cc'd, dubious noise inundates employees all day—clearly affecting productivity.So the question many may be pondering is just what to implement as an alternative. Team chat is one option.I recently wrote about some alternatives to email in a post titled "Stop using email in 2015," and chat was one of them. Chat has been used in customer service for a while, but for communicating within a team, it's been less common. That may be changing.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 30 January 2015 | 1:44 pm

Steve Jobs lives on... in a CAPTCHA

On a week when Apple blew minds with its record $74.6 billion in quarterly revenue and revealed that it's making Samsung uncomfortable on its home turf of South Korea, the company even grabbed mindshare in an unlikely place: A CAPTCHA box.Upon visiting an e-commerce site this week, I was greeted with a CAPTCHA box (more about what CAPTCHAs are here) regaling me with the exploits of none other than Apple co-founder Steve Jobs. To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 30 January 2015 | 1:31 pm

IDG Contributor Network: It's my network and I’ll binge watch if I want to

In my first blog post I discussed the gap that exists between what consumers want and what the network can feasibly provide – what I referred to as the "agility gap." In just the four months since that post, we have seen a variety of new examples of the acceleration in technology advances for the consumer and end user, while the network chugs along trying to keep up.The most intriguing of these was Sony's unveiling of PlayStation Now at CES 2015, a cloud-based gaming subscription service that gives players unlimited streaming access to more than 100 games.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 30 January 2015 | 1:28 pm

Is it Time for Two CISOs at Large Organizations?

I was able to get out of snowy Boston this week to give a presentation on enterprise security to a Federal IT audience in Washington D.C. As usual, I stated my opinion that enterprises are in the midst of a profound transformation with how they address cybersecurity risk. This change will require a new strategy around security technology AND a new type of leadership from CISOs.What type of leadership? Well, CISOs at large organizations need visibility in the boardroom and thus possess the ability to communicate cyber risk to non-technical executives and help craft cybersecurity strategies that truly align business and IT priorities.This led to a discussion on CISO skills in general. Some audience members complained that federal CISOs had no such skills or power, and that this position was mostly technical in nature. Others stated that they thought it might be extremely difficult to find a single individual with the right mix of business, leadership, and technical skills to take on the growing number of responsibilities of the emerging CISO role.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 30 January 2015 | 12:39 pm

Tech salary guide for 2015

2015 Tech SalariesImage by ShutterstockSilicon Valley-San Francisco is home to a white-hot tech job market chock full of good salaries, says Megan Slabinski, district president at Robert Half Technology. Across the country, mobile app developers, big data engineers and wireless network engineers have seen some of the biggest salary spikes, while the most challenging skill sets to find locally are database developers, help desk and desktop support.  To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 30 January 2015 | 12:29 pm

Get your resume past the robots: How to beat HR's mechanical gatekeepers

The machines will stand in your wayImage by Xiaofan Luo/Flickr.Editor's Note: If you are unable to advance to the next slide, try disabling adblock. We apologize for the inconvenience.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 30 January 2015 | 12:26 pm

CIO outlines cloud environment goals at Department of Defense

The top technology officer at the Department of Defense (DoD) wants to work more closely with cloud service providers, saying yesterday that he expects to enhance collaboration with the private sector as the Pentagon, like the rest of the federal government, looks to trim IT costs and improve efficiencies.Speaking at a cloud event geared for private-sector firms, Terry Halvorsen, acting CIO at DoD, outlined his vision "to form an interactive partnership between all of the government players involved within DoD and industry to get it right."ALSO ON NETWORK WORLD 10 of the Most Useful Cloud Databases "We are going to continue to move more into the commercial space," Halvorsen says. "One of the questions that we're wrestling with today inside the DoD technology is what businesses should we be in, and how much of any business should we be in."To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 30 January 2015 | 12:24 pm

Microsoft updates cloud-based SQL Server to simplify management

Microsoft has added automated backup and patching for SQL Server databases running in virtual machines on its Azure cloud, in a bid to simplify management and improve reliability.As enterprises move more and larger IT systems to the cloud, advanced management functionality is becoming increasingly important to keep systems up and costs down. And step by step, service providers like Amazon Web Services and Microsoft are adding new features to streamline management processes.The latest improvements from Microsoft are aimed at keeping SQL Server backed up and secure in a more convenient way when running the database in virtual machines on Azure.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 30 January 2015 | 12:20 pm

Can't keep this bad boy down: ZeroAccess botnet back in business

A peer-to-peer botnet called ZeroAccess came out of a six-month hibernation this month after having survived two takedown attempts by law enforcement and security researchers.At its peak in 2013, ZeroAccess, also known as Sirefef, consisted of more than 1.9 million infected computers that were primarily used for click fraud and Bitcoin mining.That was until security researchers from Symantec found a flaw in the botnet’s resilient peer-to-peer architecture. This architecture allowed the bots to exchange files, instructions and information with each other without the need for central command-and-control servers, which are the Achilles’ heel of most botnets.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 30 January 2015 | 10:55 am

How much money does Amazon make in the cloud? We’ll find out soon

Thinkstock While reporting its year-end financial results, Amazon.com CFO Tom Szkutak also announced something that will make cloud-watchers giddy: The company plans to officially break out the financial results for its Amazon Web Services cloud computing division beginning next quarter.AWS has been anointed the leader of the IaaS cloud market for its breadth and depth of products and services, plus its massive scale - Gartner estimated last year that its cloud was five times larger than all of its competitors at the time, combined! Given that lead, AWS is also thought to be the leading revenue generator in the IaaS market. But no one knows for sure.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 30 January 2015 | 8:51 am

Data preparation is the unsung hero of big data analytics

Saying that big data is hot today is as big an understatement as saying that the New England Patriots like to stretch the rules of football. It's hard to go anywhere or speak to anyone without the term "big data" coming up. In fact, I flew to Milan and back this week and saw a big data story in the airline magazine. The term big data is a bit over-used, as it means different things to different people. But there's one commonality to all the definitions, and that's…(drumroll, please)…data!My statement above – that big data depends on data – seems very obvious, but success with analyzing big data requires more than just raw data. It requires good, quality data. So maybe a more accurate statement should have been that success with big data requires prepared data. When it comes to analytics, there's an old axiom that goes "garbage in, garbage out," meaning that if you throw high volumes of poorly formed data into an analytic solution, you'll get bad results.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 30 January 2015 | 8:42 am