February 2, 2017 brianradio2016

United Airlines is turning to IBM for a suite of iOS apps to help its employees deliver more efficient customer service.

The deal, part of IBM and Apple’s global partnership, will include both market ready and custom iOS apps for United employees. The airline has so far deployed more than 50,000 Apple devices to its workforce. The apps will be integrated with United’s core enterprise processes.

They should help United Airlines employees “tap into the right information at the right time to instantaneously address the needs that matter most to passengers,” Dee Waddell, global managing director of travel & transportation industries for IBM, said in a statement.

Apple and IBM have been working together on developing enterprise apps since 2014. They’ve already worked together to produce enterprise iOS apps for the airline industry — in November, Finnish airline Finnair announced plans to roll out a series of iOS apps to its staff.

IBM has also forged separate deals with major airlines. A few months ago, American Airlines announced it would move some of its internal applications to the IBM Cloud.

Meanwhile, as United works on its “digital transformation,” it also needs to ensure its back end technology is up to snuff. Just a couple of weeks ago, United temporarily grounded all of its US flights because of an apparent IT problem. United encountered a similar problem with its computer system in October, delaying flights for several hours. Multiple other airlines have experienced similar problems in the past year.

IBM wants to be your cloud broker:

February 2, 2017 brianradio2016

Here's why Apple is looking to break free from Intel

CPU and GPU inside apple’s 15-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar.

iFixit

So, a Bloomberg report claims that Apple is working on “a new chip for future Mac laptops that would take on more of the functionality currently handled by Intel Corp. processors.”

Must read: 7 things you need to know about Apple (Q1 2017 edition)

What’s Hot on ZDnet

Here, in a nutshell, is what Bloomberg got from “people familiar with the matter”:

  • The chip is similar to the T1 chip currently used to power the Touch Bar in the new MacBook Pro
  • Internally codenamed T310
  • Will be used to handle low-power mode functionality
  • Built using ARM technology
  • Will work alongside an Intel processor

Macs already have a feature called “Power Nap” that allows them to wake up when asleep to carry out tasks such as receiving emails and install updates, but the efficiencies of this are related to what Intel can deliver. Since no one knows macOS better than Apple, this makes sense.

But in the longer term, this (if it is true) is clearly the beginning of the process of ousting Intel from the Mac. This has been something that’s been rumored for years, and while Apple would need to leap through a number of hoops to make it happen, in the long term, it seems like a logical direction for Apple to go in.

Not only would it give Apple greater control over the hardware ecosystem, but it would also allow it to better control the processor/graphics chip upgrade cycle. Several insiders have commented on the fact that Apple was displeased that Intel did not have Kaby Lake processors ready for the new MacBook Pro, forcing it to launch a product running old microarchitecture.

By developing its own silicon, Apple could better coordinate macOS and Mac hardware releases to best leverage the silicon — just as it does with the iPhone/iPad and the iOS platform.

But, ultimately, Apple’s dabbling with ARM inside Macs is clearly a move to bring iOS and macOS closer together, and possibly coalesce the two operating systems at some point in the future. I know Apple executives have ruled out combining the iPad and MacBook, but I’m also old enough to remember the late Steve Jobs saying how Apple wasn’t interested in getting into the smartphone business while the company was secretly developing the iPhone.

Unifying iOS and macOS into single platform makes sense. Maybe now is not the right time, but in the long run, it’s certainly where Apple is headed.

See also:

Video: Want a new phone? Here are the 10 best ones

February 2, 2017 brianradio2016

Sony. Anthem. The Office of Personnel Management. Target. Yahoo. The past two years have seen one mega-breach after another—and 2017 promises to be the most catastrophic year yet.

Security experts have long warned that most organizations don’t even know they’ve been breached. Attackers rely on stealth to learn about the network, find valuable information and systems, and steal what they want. Only recently have organizations improved their detection efforts and started investing the time, capital, and people needed to uncover vulnerabilities. When they do, the results are often alarming.

“I think we are going to find more, not less, breaches in 2017,” says Ray Rothrock, CEO of RedSeal, a security analytics firm.

All the big breaches thus far have had one trait in common: The initial malware infections or network intrusions that gave attackers a point of entry into the network “all hark back to 2013,” Rothrock says. “A lot of bad stuff got unleashed into the world then, which found its way into corporate and government networks.”

February 2, 2017 brianradio2016

Hewlett Packard Enterprise has acquired Niara, a startup that uses machine learning and big data analytics on enterprise packet streams and log streams to detect and protect customers from advanced cyberattacks that have penetrated perimeter defenses.

The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Operating in the User and Entity Behavior Analytics (UEBA) market, Niara’s technology starts by automatically establishing baseline characteristics for all users and devices across the enterprise and then looking for anomalous, inconsistent activities that may indicate a security threat, Keerti Melkote, senior vice president and general manager of HPE Aruba and cofounder of Aruba Networks, wrote in a blog post on Wednesday.

The time taken to investigate individual security incidents has been reduced from up to 25 hours using manual processes to less than a minute by using machine learning, Melkote added. 

February 2, 2017 brianradio2016

Carriers are starting to look more like cloud companies, turning to standard hardware, virtualization and machine learning for rapid development of new services.

AT&T helped drive that trend on Wednesday by releasing ECOMP, the operating system of its software-defined network, as open source through the Linux Foundation. Like Linux, ECOMP will become a codebase that many different companies and developers – potentially even AT&T’s rivals – collectively create and define into the future.

AT&T is evolving from a traditional carrier with a limited menu of services to an agile service provider that can quickly adapt to customer’s needs and constantly tune its own systems for reliability and performance. Its virtualized, software-defined network, among the first of its kind at a telecommunications carrier, is the engine driving that change. The big data that the company collects about the use of its network helps it to improve the network and add features, AT&T says.

AT&T introduced the latest version of the network, which it calls Indigo, at an event in San Francisco.

February 2, 2017 brianradio2016

MongoDB security is in the news again. A recent spate of stories reveals how hackers have been seizing MongoDB databases and ransoming the data for bitcoins. Tens of thousands of MongoDB installations have been compromised, according to Rapid7.

We all worry about security. If you run applications, networks, or databases, security is always a top-line issue. With more companies turning to open source software such as MongoDB to store important enterprise data, security becomes an even bigger question. Depending on your business, you might also have multiple government (such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, or HIPAA) or business (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard, or PCI DSS) network security regulatory standards with which you need to comply.

Is MongoDB database software secure? Does it meet these standards? The short answer: Yes it is, and yes it does! It’s simply a matter of knowing how to set up, configure, and work with your particular installation.

In this article, I’m going to address MongoDB security. MongoDB is safe to use — if you know what to look for and how to configure it.

February 1, 2017 brianradio2016

The global floating solar panels market is expected to grow from $13.8 million in 2015 to $2.7 billion by 2025, according to a new report from Grand View Research.

The technology, which carries photovoltaic solar panels at sea or in landlocked water basins, is expected to see significant growth over the next eight years due to the rising demand for reliable renewable power generation that does not use expensive real estate on terra firma.

Kyocera floating solar panels floatvoltaics Kyocera Corp.

The world’s largest ongoing floating solar panel project on the Yamakura Dam reservoir in Japan, has a generating capacity of 13.7MW.

“The ability to mitigate land cost is expected to favor demand over the projected period,” said the report, titled Floating Solar Panels Market Size & Trend Analysis.

Most of the growth in the global floating solar market — also known as Floatovoltaics — will come from the nations deploying it, which include Japan, the UK, China and Brazil.

February 1, 2017 brianradio2016

If the University of California, Berkeley’s AMPLab doesn’t ring bells, perhaps some of its projects will: Spark and Mesos.

AMPLab was planned all along as a five-year computer science research initiative, and it closed down as of last November after running its course. But a new lab is opening in its wake: RISELab, another five-year project at UC Berkeley with major financial backing and the stated goal of “focus[ing] intensely for five years on systems that provide Real-time Intelligence with Secure Execution [RISE].”

AMPLab was created with “a vision of understanding how machines and people could come together to process or to address problems in data — to use data to train rich models, to clean data, and to scale these things,” said Joseph E. Gonzalez, Assistant Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at UC Berkeley.

RISELab’s web page describes the group’s mission as “a proactive step to move beyond big data analytics into a more immersive world,” where “sensors are everywhere, AI is real, and the world is programmable.” One example cited: Managing the data infrastructure around “small, autonomous aerial vehicles,” whether unmanned drones or flying cars, where the data has to be processed securely at high speed.