January 6, 2017 brianradio2016

The telecom industry rang in the new year to the tune of “Good Times Roll” – and by “good times” they mean more mergers, less competition, and no more pesky net neutrality and data privacy regulations.

The outgoing FCC — one of the most consumer-friendly in history — was tough on telecom morale. In a memorable “look, the emperor has no clothes” moment, Chairman Tom Wheeler pointed to the lack of competition in the U.S. broadband market and vowed to do better.

Under Wheeler’s tenure, the agency raised the definition of broadband to 25Mbps, from the previous snail’s pace 4Mbps; passed net neutrality rules that banned traffic discrimination and throttling; issued basic broadband privacy protection rules that prohibited ISPs from selling users’ personal data to third parties without users’ consent; adopted truth-in-billing guidelines to cut down on “cramming” of unauthorized charges; opened investigations into the use of data caps and zero-rating schemes; and tried to fight (ultimately unsuccessfully) the spread of telecom-written state laws that protect monopolies from competition.

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January 6, 2017 brianradio2016

How’d enterprise infrastructure spending fare in 2016? A wee bit down.

According to an analysis from Synergy Research Group, while many individual categories for enterprise IT infrastructure saw growth, a few key segments plunged heavily to bring overall spending down by 1 percent.

Much of that drop was due to steep declines in three categories that have long been decaying, and 3 to 8 percent growth in other categories wasn’t quite enough to offset the general loss.

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January 5, 2017 brianradio2016
January 5, 2017 brianradio2016

Free public Wi-Fi is available almost everywhere. Whether you are at the local coffee shop, department store, restaurant or bar, there is a good chance that an open Wi-Fi network is there just waiting for you to connect.

If you decide to take advantage of the offer, how can you make sure that your data stays secure? Here are some simple ways to stay safe with public Wi-Fi while on your Android device — though many of these tips are actually true for any mobile devices.

Google has helped improve online security for everyone by strongly encouraging websites to use HTTPS through changes to their search rank algorithms. This is a welcome step that improves security without any affirmative action by users, and an HTTPS connection creates a secure, encrypted tunnel between your device and the server hosting the website that you are visiting.

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January 5, 2017 brianradio2016

SiFive is a relatively new fabless chip manufacturing startup that is developing fully open source chips. Its new FE310 chip is its first chip (and apparently the first open source chip) targeted at IoT devices.

Specs of FE 310, according to SiFive:

The FE310 features SiFive’s E31 CPU Coreplex, a 32-bit RV32IMAC core running at 320+ MHz. Additional features include a 16KB L1 Instruction Cache, a 16KB Data SRAM scratchpad, hardware multiply/divide, debug module, one-time programmable non-volatile memory (OTP), flexible clock generation with on-chip oscillators and PLLs, and a wide variety of peripherals including UARTs, QSPI, PWMs and timers. Multiple power domains and a low-power standby mode ensure a variety of applications can benefit from the FE310, which was fabricated in TSMC 180nm.

SiFive has also released an Arduino based software development board called HiFive1, along with the FE310 chip. In addition to that, the company has also released the RTL (register-transfer level) code for FE310 under an open source license that will allow chip designers to customize their own SoC on top of the base FE310.

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January 5, 2017 brianradio2016

Ebay’s work with OpenStack has yielded fruit: A new container administration tool that makes better use of Docker and Kubernetes.

This is yet another thumbs-up for containers finding a place as as helpful units of work within an organization and for Kubernetes managing those workloads. But it’s also a sign that even the biggest and most engineer-heavy IT organizations that can bend OpenStack to their will are favoring other solutions for developer convenience.

Meet your new master

TessMaster, as discussed in articles at InformationWeek and ZDNet, was designed to allow running Kubernetes at scale and inside eBay’s custom cluster configuration, which allegedly consists of tens of thousands of servers running hundreds of thousands of VMs. A 2015 article at The Next Platform, detailing how eBay was augmenting OpenStack with Kubernetes, noted that the scale of eBay’s datacenters compared to “those of the Rackspace Hosting and SoftLayer public clouds.”

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January 5, 2017 brianradio2016

There’ll be a to-do list from the IT department in the president’s “in” tray when Donald Trump enters the White House later this month.

In a cabinet exit memo published Thursday, the Office of Science and Technology Director John P Holdren and U.S. CTO Megan Smith review President Barack Obama’s technology achievements, and set 10 technology priorities for his successor.

Twitter doesn’t get a mention.

At the top of Holdren’s and Smith’s list is to invest in fundamental research and to publish the results. Such work may one day lead to profitable products, but the payoff is too far in the future to motivate most businesses to contribute — and were they to do so, they would probably keep the results to themselves.

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January 5, 2017 brianradio2016

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