Top Stories

Sorry Obama, your NSA reforms aren't nearly good enough

Sorry Obama, your NSA reforms aren't nearly good enough

Yesterday we heard that President Barack Obama is going to ask Congress to put the brakes on the NSA's spying escapades, or at least a part of them. Obama's plans were confirmed yesterday by the White House following a leak to the New York Times. Under the President's proposal, the NSA will be banned from collecting and storing citizens' phone call records, with telecoms companies keeping these on file instead. And they won't be handed over to the NSA willy nilly, except in cases where the agency can prove to a judge that a specific caller has links to terrorism. But this... more »
Spotify slashes 50% off its premium service for students

Spotify slashes 50% off its premium service for students

Cloud music streaming service Spotify is making itself more affordable for students by offering its premium service at 50 percent off. This offering allows students to enjoy the same perks premium subscribers enjoy for only $4.99. A premium subscription provides access to more than 20 million songs without ad interruption, and the service can be accessed on multiple different devices such as desktops, mobiles, tablets, and even through a home entertainment system. A premium subscription also allows users to download their favorite songs or playlist, so they can listen to them offline and not eat up their data allowance. Also, Spotify says... more »
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It's not just XP - It's the end of the road for Office 2003 as well

In just two weeks Microsoft will finally cease providing support for its Windows XP operating system, effectively marking the beginning of the end for that particular piece of software. But while the death of XP is hogging all the headlines as the April 8 deadline draws closer, it's worth noting that Microsoft is set to pull down the curtain on another, equally popular product – Office 2003. Eleven years after Office 2003 was released, Microsoft will stop providing security updates and bug fixes for the productivity suite. In a blog post to remind customers of Office 2003's imminent death, Microsoft noted... more »
Red Hat turns a little more to business with Ruby, Nginx and MongoDB support

Red Hat turns a little more to business with Ruby, Nginx and MongoDB support

Red Hat Software Collections response to changing needs of developers, provides access to newer, updated and reliable versions of popular dynamic languages ​​and open source databases. This allows organizations to develop software faster on a modern platform across physical, virtual and cloud environments without the potential risks of non-supported community projects. Extending the software collection, Red Hat released a new beta version 1.1 of its software collection for testing. The new beta version includes the stable branch of Nginx Web Server solution, Ruby 2.0 and NoSQL-database MongoDB. Red Hat aims is to provide developers with RHEL-compatible products access to standard assemblies and... more »
How Wit.ai aims to use natural language processing to transform IoT

How Wit.ai aims to use natural language processing to transform IoT

Understanding natural language is becoming an increasingly commonplace goal within the tech industry. Software built around these new technologies is changing our lives. These new systems are enabling our personal devices to better adapt and anticipate to what we need, right when we ask for it. As a first step towards a complete, general linguistic framework, the declarative specification of an app must be designed as a functional model, which effectively realizes the mechanism of natural language communication. To ensure completeness, the model must take the language-based interaction between humans as its prototype. The model’s functionality and data coverage must be... more »
Udderly clever wearable tech solutions

Udderly clever wearable tech solutions

This week’s WearableTech roundup features an inconspicuous smart eyewear, solar garments for charging your mobile devices, and a collar that tracks when cows are in heat. Epiphany Eyewear  . If you’re looking for a smartglass that fits your hipster lifestyle, Epiphany Eyewear's newest pair of glasses may be just the device to fit your needs.  It features a 720p HD camera fitted right on the frame so it’s not sticking out like Google's Glass camera. Epiphany Eyewear specs also come with a Lithium ion rechargeable battery capable of fast-charging in 35 minutes and lasts an hour while recording videos, and the frame is... more »
The hubris of Big Data (or: Why Google Flu is so very wrong)

The hubris of Big Data (or: Why Google Flu is so very wrong)

Big Data analytics isn't as magic as it seems. Blind belief in your data can make you look really foolish. Those lessons Google seems to be learning the hard way, at least in its effort to use search inquiries to map influenza outbreaks. Mapping the illness in near real-time is a noble goal that the world's smartest company not only didn't reach, but a new study says Google's predictions are not even close. The moral of this story is, Big Data can create big wins and embarrassing losses, though few as public as this one. Having said that, Google deserves credit for... more »
Frank Frankovsky leaves Facebook for open-source hardware business

Frank Frankovsky leaves Facebook for open-source hardware business

Frank  ‎Frankovsky, the Vice President of Hardware Design and Supply Chain Operations at Facebook, will be leaving the social networking giant to “work on a new open-source hardware business focused on developing and delivering optical technology for capacity-optimized storage needs.” Frankovsky announced his departure via his Facebook Page today.  He was one of the few hardware hires in Facebook, and though he felt like a fish out of water, he stated that he had an incredible work experience at the company. “The work we have done together to custom design the most efficient data centers and server/storage systems with a small but... more »
 Hortonworks joins the Hadoop IPO race with $100M funding round

Hortonworks joins the Hadoop IPO race with $100M funding round

The Hadoop ecosystem is going through the same stages of explosive maturation as the social networking space had before it, with the top players now gearing up for public offerings to fuel their growth ambitions. Cloudera fired the opening shot last week with the closing of a $160 million round that bumped up its valuation to $1.8 billion, and today Hortonworks announced fresh funding of its own. The company bagged $100 million in Series D financing from asset management powerhouse BlackRock, Passport Capital and all of its existing backers, which include several other high-profile institutional investors as well as Yahoo. Hortonworks... more »
Mobile market in flux

Mobile market in flux

With all the news about Big Data and cloud services, the mobile market has taken a back seat in the news and probably in the minds of many CIOs in recent months. But mobile remains important, both as a major driver of the other trends revolutionizing IT and as an increasing part of the corporate end-user infrastructure. And the mobile market is anything but stable and is showing signs of further rapid change in the coming months. Over the last two years we have seen the rise of Google Android, first in the smartphone market and last year in the tablet... more »

Premium Research

- David Floyer

The premise for this research is that high value computing has unique compute, network and storage infrastructure requirements. The key systems requirements are low or very low latency, high bandwidth and high availability designed to lower software costs, improve time-to-value and help maintain high levels of data integrity and system availability. Wikibon researched the differences between performance optimized and cost optimized systems for a sample high-value compute environments, and concluded that the total 3-year cost of a sample cost-optimized configuration and software were 63% high than a performance optimized configuration. The key differences are higher costs for performance optimized hardware, but lower costs for the software required in high value compute application, as well as lower operational costs.

- Brian Gracely

As the market for Hybrid Cloud services and solutions evolve, every vendor and cloud provider is attempting to align their offerings to market demands. Wikibon looks at the current offerings and provides guidance to vendors on how to succeed in this market.

- George Gilbert

In this report we look at ad-tech as an example of Systems of Intelligence. Using ad-tech applications, combinations of advertisers, ad agencies, consumers, and publishers -- the advertiser’s marketing ecosystem -- collaborate in real time to personalize an optimal customer interactions with the brand. One software company pioneering video ad-tech, Altitude Digital, pulls all these different pieces together, and highlights the types of function big data ecosystem apps must support.

- David Vellante

On May 12, 2016 at 12 Noon EDT, several CxOs will gather to discuss how to best communicate to Boards of Directors on the topic of cyber security. Has a failure = fire mentality led organizations to "sandbag" the threat? Is security a shared responsibility across the business or does it fall on the shoulders of a few security gurus? How should CxOs be changing the way they communicate about cyber in the digital age?

- Brian Gracely

In this Trip Report from OpenStack Summit 2016, the Wikibon team looks at five critical areas for OpenStack - Community, Consumption Models, Revenues, New Use-Cases and the OpenStack technology ecosystem,

- Brian Gracely

While automation is often looked at as a way to reduce IT costs, it has far-reaching impacts for Digital Business Platforms. Wikibon looks at how automation improves the ability to experiment with new ideas, improve market responsiveness, improve overall application security and better align development and operations requirements.

- Brian Gracely

With the release of the Native Hybrid Cloud solution, EMC is offering customers the ability to rapidly build new applications. But will the lack of embedded operations slow the adoption of the product and slow customer deployments?

- David Floyer

The x86 microprocessor has reached a limit in how much an application can be speeded up. Intel can no longer rely on economies of scale to drive market share in processors. Future advances will come from designing the microprocessor and software-in-silicon together. There are multiple large niches that have opened up to new processor/software approaches, including mobile, IoT servers, specialized servers for the cloud, telecommunications servers and large system servers for large database and big data applications. New winners in this space are likely to come from companies like Apple, Amazon, Fujitsu, Google, Hitachi, IBM, Microsoft and Oracle.

- Peter Burris

Wikibon was the Analyst Partner at the recent GDS CIO Summit, US in Denver, Colorado. This is the trip report from that session.

- Brian Gracely

Understanding how to accelerate “Idea to Execution Time” (I2ET) may become the most important measurement of any Digital Business Platform. Wikibon explore the core attributes needed to be successful in rapidly developing and deploying new business applications.