Predicting crime with Big Data ... welcome to "Minority Report" for real

Crime has patterns just like everything else humans do when we're viewed as a large enough group. Thus, while individual behavior can be hard to predict, determining the average behavior of a population and then matching individuals to that template to determine “fit” can be surprisingly accurate.This is the world of predictive analytics; the scientific version of a crystal ball. Instead of peering into a glass globe you peer into (ideally) massive amounts of data and using Big Data mining techniques such as statistics, modeling, and machine learning you look for patterns that are indicative of current or future behavior.Predictive analytics has become very sexy over the last few years and has produced some impressive insights into human behavior and, occasionally, problematic revelations (see footnote below).To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 20 September 2014 | 2:01 pm

QNAP Virtualization Station: Thoroughly and completely epically awesome

Over the last few years I’ve reviewed a number of SOHO/SMB Network Attached Storage (NAS) products and, on the whole, I’ve really liked almost everything I’ve seen. What’s really cool is that the leading manufacturers in this market have polished and re-polished to the point where these devices are amazingly powerful. They now all have add-on applications that extend their feature sets, incredibly slick browser-based management interfaces, and sophisticated hardware extensibility and just when I thought innovation in this market had slowed right down I discovered one company with a new feature that is, at least if you’re as much of a geek as I am, ridiculously cool: Virtual machine support!To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 20 September 2014 | 12:39 am

Ancient Microsoft scam lives on

My wife got a call from a self-described technical services professional who said that 76% of Windows computers in Massachusetts were infected in the last 48 to 72 hours and would crash. Could she go to her computer and log in to their secure server?She told him she thought it was very impressive that Microsoft was calling every one of its customers in Massachusetts to notify them of the problem. “I’ve been using Microsoft products for years, and this is the first personal call I’ve ever gotten,” she said.He said that Microsoft wanted him to do this, and she said it sounded like a wonderful new service. He told her to go to her computer and together they could fix the problem.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 19 September 2014 | 4:55 pm

IEEE standards group wants to bring order to IoT

The IEEE is embarking on an ambitious effort to build a overarching architecture for the Internet of Things, spanning a multitude of industries and technologies.IEEE P2413, which the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers officially started work on in July, would form a framework for interoperability among connected devices and related applications in home automation, industrial systems, telematics and all other sectors that are expected to use IoT in the coming years. While leaving room for differences across those industries, the standard would allow for sharing of data across IoT systems, according to Oleg Logvinov, chair of the IEEE P2413 Working Group.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 19 September 2014 | 3:30 pm

InfiniDB going out of business, but its database will live on as open source

Increasingly stiff competition in the database market has claimed another victim, as InfiniDB has ceased operations effective immediately with plans to file for bankruptcy.“The company and technology have developed over the past several years and there have been numerous technology achievements and business success stories with our customers,” InfiniDB CEO Bob Wilkinson said in a statement issued Friday. “But as a startup on the leading edge of technology, business can be challenging especially as differentiation in the market is murkier and competition from bigger entities increases.”Although InfiniDB’s leadership spent some months “exploring all possible investment options that could take the company forward,” the effort was fruitless, Wilkinson said.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 19 September 2014 | 3:20 pm

Key Cisco defections in data center, OpenStack

Cisco lost two vital soldiers in its data center and OpenStack platoons to competitors this week. Dom Delfino, vice president of worldwide system engineering for data center and virtualization, has jumped to SDN rival VMware while Kyle Mestery, principal engineer in Cisco’s Office of the Cloud CTO, will soon surface at HP.Delfino had been at Cisco for 14 years. He was leading the data center and virtualization technology strategy and pre-sales systems engineering organization for Cisco globally. Sources say he was responsible for bridging the Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) policy networking and Unified Computing System (UCS) compute platforms when he left.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 19 September 2014 | 2:34 pm

FCC questions how to enforce net neutrality rules

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission needs to create explicit rules that tell broadband providers what traffic management techniques they can and cannot use if the agency has any hope of enforcing its proposed net neutrality rules, some advocates told the agency Friday.The FCC needs to reclassify broadband as a common-carrier, public utility service in order to have a firm regulatory foundation to take net neutrality enforcement actions, representatives of Kickstarter and Mozilla said during an agency forum on net neutrality enforcement.The FCC needs strong prohibitions against broadband providers selectively blocking or slowing Web traffic, said Susan Crawford, a visiting intellectual property professor at Harvard Law School. She called on the FCC to pass net neutrality rules pegged to Title II of the Communications Act, a section of the law that has focused on requirements for common-carrier telephone companies.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 19 September 2014 | 2:25 pm

Shut out on iPhone 6 Plus, buyers settle for smaller version

HARRISONBURG, Va. -- Apple fans who stood in line for hours in hopes of buying the 5.5-in. iPhone 6 Plus were disappointed -- even perturbed -- to find none in stock at both the AT&T and Verizon stories in this college town west of Washington, D.C. Several prospective customers stormed off angrily from their separate lines at the stores when told they could buy only the iPhone 6. Others strategized about buying the 4.7-in. iPhone 6, then selling it quickly on eBay or elsewhere to be able to buy the Plus this fall. These Apple fans had little recourse, because there's no Apple retail store in Harrisonburg and Best Buy was also selling only the iPhone 6. However, Apple stores around the nation, including one in downtown Boston, had both new versions in stock, according to reports.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 19 September 2014 | 1:35 pm

New iPhone 6 and 6 Plus are easier to repair

Apple's new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are slightly easier to repair than their forerunners, the iPhone 5C and 5S, iFixit said today after tearing apart the smartphones in Australia, where the devices first went on sale Friday.iFixit, a popular electronics do-it-yourself repair website, gave the new iPhones a repair score of 7 out of a possible 10, the same as 2012's iPhone 5, but better than the scores by 2013's iPhone 5C and 5S, which were each awarded 6 out of 10. The site credited the better score for this year's round of iPhones to easier removal of their batteries and the change to the fingerprint scanner's cable, which last year was easily torn from its socket while opening the case.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 19 September 2014 | 1:33 pm

SAP CEO Bill McDermott on why Concur is worth $8.3 billion

SAP’s announcement that it will pay US$8.3 billion to buy business-travel and expense software vendor Concur might have generated less initial buzz than the companies hoped, given it was almost simultaneous with the revelation that Larry Ellison has relinquished his CEO seat to become CTO and executive chairman of Oracle.But SAP CEO Bill McDermott is confident the addition of Concur will prove more than worthwhile, both in terms of market attention and new revenue. He spoke with IDG News Service briefly about the deal late Thursday, describing how Concur will fit in with SAP’s previous acquisitions of the Ariba B2B commerce network and Fieldglass workforce management software. The following is an edited transcript of the conversation.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 19 September 2014 | 1:30 pm

iPhone 6 review roundup – the raves come quietly

As the iPhone 6 series hits store shelves and users’ pockets, professional opinions have been generally positive, if not breathlessly impressed. The overall reaction is probably best characterized as a “eh, they’re pretty good.” Not, of course, that this has stopped anyone from devoting several thousand words at a time to saying so. In-depth reviews have been plentiful and extensive. Fine details have been pored over. Comparisons made. Phones fondled, pockets stuffed. +ALSO ON NETWORK WORLD: iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus: Which is the perfect screen size for you? | Why the entry-level iPhone 6 has just 16GB of storage +To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 19 September 2014 | 12:58 pm

Alibaba shares open at a high $92.70

In their first day of trading, shares of Alibaba stock opened at US$92.70 on the New York Stock Exchange on Friday, an increase of more than 35 percent over the $68 initial public offering price.The firm raised $21.8 billion in its U.S. IPO, making it one of the largest IPOs ever. It’s close to the historic $22 billion raised by the Agricultural Bank of China in 2010, and beats the $18 billion raised by Visa in 2008.Alibaba shares didn’t begin trading until at least a couple hours after the opening bell. Listed under the symbol BABA, Alibaba shares were trading slightly lower around $90 in the early afternoon.Alibaba is an e-commerce behemoth in China, but it’s looking to grow its business internationally, perhaps beyond e-commerce in the pursuit of new consumer data.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 19 September 2014 | 12:50 pm

New organization sets out to make secure communication tools more user-friendly

Google, Dropbox and the Open Technology Fund are supporting a new organization focused on making open-source security and privacy tools more user-friendly.The organization is called Simply Secure and plans to bring together software developers, user-experience researchers and designers to identify usability challenges in secure communication tools and to develop solutions for them.“There are already many credible and exciting software-development efforts that aim to make privacy and security ubiquitous,” said Sara Sinclair Brody, director of Simply Secure and former product manager at Google, in a blog post Thursday. “Rather than create redundant initiatives, we will focus on supporting existing open source work by providing usability and development expertise, direct ties to user communities, connections to funding sources, and other resources.”To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 19 September 2014 | 12:40 pm

Opening Day for Apple iPhone 6 and 6 Plus around the world

"Image by ReutersApple’s launch of its new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus led to the usual hysteria and long lines at Apple Stores around the world. Reuters was there to capture the action.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 19 September 2014 | 12:31 pm

Tim Cook launches iPhone 6 sales in Palo Alto

What’s an even bigger deal for Apple fans than getting the iPhone 6 on launch day? Taking a selfie with Apple CEO Tim Cook.The chief executive walked the line of several hundred people outside the company’s Palo Alto, California, store shortly before the new phone went on sale at 8 a.m. Friday, stopping to shake hands, thank customers and pose for many, many selfies.+ ALSO ON NETWORK WORLD Opening days for Apple iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus from around the world +Cook didn’t have to travel far to get to the store. He lives just a few blocks away in the leafy Silicon Valley town. Steve Jobs lived nearby too and used to turn up at the store to check the atmosphere on launch day, but perhaps never shook as many hands and posed for as many pictures as Cook did.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 19 September 2014 | 12:20 pm

HP leapfrogs Red Hat to become top contributor to OpenStack

OpenStack has a new top contributor: HP.According to the website Stackalytics.com, which tracks the companies that make code contributions to the open source cloud project, HP has overtaken Red Hat as being responsible for more new code than any other company in the latest release of the software.+ MORE FROM NETWORK WORLD: This is what’s holding the public cloud back +Becoming the top contributor to OpenStack means different things to different people. For some, it amounts to bragging rights. Others may consider this a significant move for a company like HP to back a still-growing open source project like OpenStack.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 19 September 2014 | 11:32 am

Rackspace: Not for sale anymore

Rackspace is not going to be sold, the company says.This week Rackspace officials said they ended formal evaluation of mergers and acquisitions that the company had been considering. In doing so the company also named a new president, Taylor Rhodes.+ MORE AT CLOUD CHRONICLES: How to get $100,000 worth of Google’s cloud use for free +Speculation about what would be happening to Rackspace fueled discussions across cloud circles for months. Rackspaces enlisted the help of Morgan Stanley to evaluate options. Would a giant company like Cisco buy Rackspace? John Chambers, the networking giant’s chief executive, said no. IBM just purchased SoftLayer, so that didn’t seem like a viable option. CenturyLink was reportedly interested in buying Rackspace, but soon after that news came out Rackspace ended it all saying it would not be sold. The company’s stock dropped 18% after the new came out.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 19 September 2014 | 11:22 am

Screen size matters to Apple fans in line for the iPhone 6

Apple fans were out early in full force in Boston and New York Friday morning to buy the larger screen iPhone 6 and 6 Plus.The 4.7-inch iPhone 6 and 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus have some of the “the biggest advancements in iPhone history,” Apple said when it announced the new smartphones last week. But larger screens are what drew some to stand in lines outside stores on a chilly morning in both cities.At Apple’s Fifth Avenue store in New York the line, which snaked around a city block, started to form on Aug. 31, before the smartphones were announced. The New York City Police Department barricaded some parts of the block to control the crowd.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 19 September 2014 | 10:15 am

Apple's iOS 8 fixes enterprise Wi-Fi authentication hijacking issue

Apple’s iOS 8 addresses a serious weakness that could allow attackers to hijack the wireless network authentication of Apple devices and gain access to enterprise networks.“An attacker could have impersonated a WiFi access point, offered to authenticate with LEAP, broken the MS-CHAPv1 hash, and used the derived credentials to authenticate to the intended access point even if that access point supported stronger authentication methods,” Apple said in its security advisory for iOS 8.The vulnerability stems from Apple’s implementation of the WPA2-Enterprise security protocol that’s widely used on corporate wireless networks because it allows clients to have unique access credentials instead of using a preshared password like in the case of WPA2-Personal, the wireless security protocol used on home networks.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 19 September 2014 | 9:55 am

Software developers can test their programs for weaknesses at the SoftWare Assurance MarketPlace—and it's free

This column is available in a weekly newsletter called IT Best Practices.  Click here to subscribe.  Software touches every aspect of our lives today. Not only does it run our office computers and smartphones, it also controls transportation systems, utility grids, weapons guidance systems, medical devices, our personal vehicles, embedded systems of every ilk, and so much more.As vital as software has become, it's not infallible. After all, it's built by humans, and we are known to make mistakes from time to time.In today's environment of malicious actors looking for every opportunity to launch a cyber attack, it's absolutely critical that software developers use every tool at their disposal to assess their software for potential vulnerabilities. Large commercial software companies like Microsoft have their own resources to put their software through extensive assurance testing, but smaller developers and open source developers have not had access to the same resources—until now.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 19 September 2014 | 9:49 am

IT Outsourcing Market Far From Stable

The demand for global IT and business process services remained steady in the second quarter of 2014, according to a recently released report from outsourcing consultancy Everest Group. A total of 416 outsourcing deals were signed during the period, almost unchanged from the 415 signed in the first quarter of this year.However, the IT and business process outsourcing market is far from stable, say the report's authors.+ ALSO ON NETWORK WORLD IT outsourcing customers mad as hell, ready to walk +Most notably, the report points out a continued and strong "anti-incumbency" sentiment among IT service buyers. During the first half of this year, companies terminated approximately 27 percent of their existing IT infrastructure deals, for example. And Sanil Dani, practice director of the global sourcing group at Everest Group, expects that trend to continue throughout the year.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 19 September 2014 | 9:43 am

Why CSO pay is too low in San Francisco, New York

Among six major U.S. cities, CSOs are paid the most in San Francisco and New York, but factoring in the cost of living makes Denver and Chicago the best bang-for-the-buck places.The median income for CSOs between April 2013 and April 2014 was $184,000 in San Francisco and New York, while Denver was $162,500 and Chicago $144,500, IT placement company Mondo reported Thursday.However, the higher salary paid in San Francisco and New York was offset by the much higher cost of living.12 jobs getting the biggest raises in 2014 According to the site Sperling's Best Places, which gives a rating of 100 to the average cost of living in the U.S., the San Francisco and New York metro areas rated 197 and 146, respectively, while the Denver metro area was 115 and Chicago 103,To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 19 September 2014 | 9:41 am

Apple releases iCloud Drive for Windows PCs

Mac users are better off waiting for OS X Yosemite to drop before upgrading to iCloud Drive, but iOS 8-toting Windows users are cleared for takeoff. Apple recently released an upgraded version of iCloud for Windows loaded with iCloud Drive. Apple has added iCloud Drive to iCloud for Windows.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 19 September 2014 | 9:38 am

Ping Identity picks up $35 million more in venture funding

Ping Identity has picked up another $35 million in venture funding to speed development of the next-generation of its identity and access management technology and expand the company’s presence in Europe and Asia-Pacific.The funding includes new investors KKR and Ten Eleven Ventures as well as previous investors, bringing total funding to $110 million. The other investors are Draper Fisher Jurvetson, General Catalyst Partners, SAP Ventures, W Capital Partners, Volition Capital, Triangle Peak Partners and Appian Ventures.+ Also on NetworkWorld: 25 cool security, cloud & mobile startups to watch +To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 19 September 2014 | 9:23 am

Watch video of the first iPhone 6...being dropped

It almost looks like too perfect of a testimonial of the new iPhone 6's sturdiness to be believable as an accident. But live TV cameras caught a young man in Perth, Australia dropping his new prized new Apple smartphone as he opened the box (see video).Young "Jack" -- first in line among hundreds who waited out at an Apple store -- recovered quickly, seeing that the screen appeared to be unbroken: "It's all good." The new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus become available in the United States today, but those in Australia, with its time difference, got the jump on Apple fanboys and fangirls in the U.S.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 19 September 2014 | 9:12 am