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VA turns to Congress to expand telemedicine - News - May 9, 2017 - 6:18pm

For all of its administrative challenges in providing essential healthcare, the Department of Veterans Affairs has been recognized for its successes in delivering telemedicine to reach rural and remote patients who might live hours from the nearest VA facility.

But it could do more.

Officials from the VA recently made their way to Capitol Hill to appeal for legislation that would grant the agency greater flexibility in providing remote health services to the military community. In particular, the VA is putting a "special emphasis" on improving the delivery of health services for veterans in rural and "underserved" areas, according to Dr. Kevin Galpin, executive director of telehealth services at the Veterans Health Administration.

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Categories: Opinion

Stratasys unveils an assembly line of cloud-controlled robotic 3D printers - News - May 9, 2017 - 6:17pm

Stratasys is developing a cloud-service platform that comprises expandable, server rack-like modular 3D printer units configured under one software platform to work simultaneously to mass produce parts.

The assembly line-style 3D printing platform will reside both in Stratasys' own facilities as well as on the premises of business partners who can use the new Continuous Build 3D Demonstrator system to build their own parts or allow customers to use it for their own manufacturing needs.


Each 3D "print cell" (an individual 3D printer) in the array can produce a different print job to enable mass customization in volume production environments. Additional print cells can be added at any time to the scalable platform, and there is no theoretical limit to the number of cells, according to Tim Bohling, chief marketing officer at Stratasys.

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Categories: Opinion

Amadeus picks VMware Integrated OpenStack for private cloud - News - May 9, 2017 - 6:14pm

If you've traveled at all, it's likely you will have crossed paths with products from Amadeus IT Group -- whether that's the software that manages flight searches and hotel bookings or boarding a plane. Now the 30-year-old company has picked VMware to deliver a private OpenStack-based cloud, to support VMware vSphere workloads and as part of a wider digital transformation.

Amadeus built its own private cloud to better address the agility, stability and scale needs of its own internal operations team and those of its customers.

"[Travel] is a very specific segment and a very demanding environment," says Udo Sebald, who runs service portfolio management at Amadeus. "The systems that we operate have to scale to a very large number of transactions - if you imagine we process 3.8 billion transactions per day in peak situations it gives you an impression. Our systems need to be very scalable and flexible to satisfy peak demands."

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Categories: Opinion

Vendors dropping out of OpenStack a sign of good health - News - May 9, 2017 - 6:11pm

As vendors withdraw their support for open source infrastructure platform OpenStack, Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth has said this is a sign of a healthy, maturing project -- but that the OpenStack community needs to have a frank conversation with itself about where it's headed.

Speaking with Computerworld UK, Shuttleworth says he is "excited about the maturing of OpenStack."

"Some people will say it's going to get boring without all of the fighting, without all of the vendors showing up to have opinions," he says. "Actually, I think this is what OpenStack needs -- maturity."

In 2016, HP and Cisco both significantly cut their OpenStack operations. Intel pulled the funding on its joint Innovation Centre, originally opened with Rackspace. And Mirantis also took the axe to its OpenStack engineer workforce, following an acquisition of TCP Cloud.

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Categories: Opinion

3 top travel apps worth revisiting - Opinion - May 9, 2017 - 5:24pm

Oh, the excitement of summer travel. Discovering new places. Making new friends. Getting dragged from your airplane seat against your will. What’s not to love?

Summer doesn’t officially begin until June 20, but, no doubt, you’re already scheming your escape. So, in the spirit of planning quality goof-off time, I’ve revisited three venerable travel apps to see what’s new and noteworthy. I recommend using all three apps, for various reasons.


If you’ve not used TripAdvisor in a while, you may be surprised to see how far the app has grown. In years past, I primarily relied upon TripAdvisor for reviews of hotels and B&Bs. Now, there’s a lot more the app and website can do.

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Categories: Opinion

IDG Contributor Network: How OpenStack is listening to the community and improving the project - Opinion - May 9, 2017 - 5:16pm

Pictured: Thierry Carrez, VP of Engineering at OpenStack Foundation, and Lauren Sell, VP of Marketing & Community Services at OpenStack Foundation on stage at OpenStack Summit, Boston 

OpenStack is growing at an unprecedented rate. According to Jonathan Bryce, Executive Director at OpenStack Foundation, OpenStack deployments are enjoying a 44 percent year-on-year growth. More than 50 percent of Fortune 100 companies are now using OpenStack.

With growth comes new sets of challenges and opportunities.

This explosive growth of OpenStack also means explosive growth of the community around this project. And it’s very critical for any open source project to listen to and address the needs of the community.

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Categories: Opinion

Google case raises doubts about German news copyright law - News - May 9, 2017 - 4:43pm

German news publishers suing Google for copyright dues under a 2013 law may get more than they bargained for, with implications for readers and newspapers throughout the EU.

Rather than rule in their favor, the Berlin court hearing their case has raised doubts about the validity of the very law they sought to enforce: It has asked the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) to rule on whether the German government should have notified the European Commission of its introduction.

Such notifications are required when EU member states pass laws that may create barriers to the free provision of internet and digital services.

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Categories: Opinion

IDG Contributor Network: Amazon shames Apple with Echo Show - Opinion - May 9, 2017 - 4:42pm

Apple has had enormous success in the smartphone market. The iPhone is the most profitable mobile device ever created. But the company has lagged far behind some of its competitors in other areas, including the burgeoning home voice assistant market.

Amazon, on the other hand, has been way ahead of Apple with its Alexa-powered Echo devices. Now Amazon has leaped ahead again with a new Echo Show device that adds a screen to its Alexa voice assistant product.

The Echo Show will be released on June 28, 2017. It sells for $229.99 and you can pre-order it today from Amazon.

Here’s the official description of the Echo Show:

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Categories: Opinion

Amazon's Echo Show marries Alexa's smarts with a touchscreen - News - May 9, 2017 - 4:12pm

Amazon's Echo is getting a touchscreen. The online retailer introduced the Echo Show on Tuesday, and it looks exactly like the images that popped up online last week.

[ Related: Amazon shames Apple with Echo Show ]

The $230 Echo Show features a 7-inch touchscreen and dual 2-inch stereo speakers. It can do everything that an Alexa-powered device can do right now, including access third-party skills, tell you the forecast, set a timer, and play music.

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Categories: Opinion

Microsoft fixes remote hacking flaw in Windows Malware Protection Engine - News - May 9, 2017 - 3:26pm

Microsoft has released an update for the malware scanning engine bundled with most of its Windows security products in order to fix a highly critical vulnerability that could allow attackers to hack computers.

The vulnerability was discovered by Google Project Zero researchers Tavis Ormandy and Natalie Silvanovich on Saturday and was serious enough for Microsoft to create and release a patch by Monday. This was an unusually fast response for the company, which typically releases security updates on the second Tuesday of every month and rarely breaks out of that cycle.

Ormandy announced Saturday on Twitter that he and his colleague found a "crazy bad" vulnerability in Windows and described it as "the worst Windows remote code execution in recent memory."

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Categories: Opinion

Samsung surprises with early release of unlocked Galaxy S8 - News - May 9, 2017 - 2:56pm

Bixby Voice isn’t the only thing we’ve been waiting for when it comes to the Galaxy S8. While Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint customers have been enjoying their infinity displays for weeks, the rest of us have been patiently waiting for unlocked models to hit shelves so we can avoid carrier contracts, er, financing plans.

And now the wait is over. Samsung has announced that fully unlocked versions of the S8 and S8+ are now available through its website and Best Buy. The smaller phone will retail for $725 and the larger one for $100 more ($825), with all of the same features available on the carrier models. Like the rest of the U.S. models, the unlocked phones are powered by the Snapdragon 835 chip, not Samsung’s proprietary Exynos 8895.

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Categories: Opinion

T-Mobile quietly kills 'Free Data for Life' giveaway for new tablets - News - May 9, 2017 - 2:56pm

In the age of high definition video streaming, you can't get very far with 200MB of mobile data. That appears to be the reason T-Mobile quietly killed its Free Data for Life program on Sunday.

Originally introduced in 2013, Free Data for Life gave tablet users 200MB of free data for the life of their device. As of Monday, T-Mobile is not accepting new devices on the Free Data for Life program. Anyone whose tablet is still pushing pixels can keep on getting their free 200MB every month as usual, however.

Instead of Free Data for Life, T-Mobile is directing users to its unlimited data offerings. "When we launched Free Data For Life in 2013, 200MB of high-speed data was a lot," T-Mobile told TmoNews, which first spotted the policy change. "Today...Customers who have T-Mobile ONE can add unlimited LTE data on a tablet for just $20 a month with autopay."

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Categories: Opinion

Vendors approve of NIST password draft - News - May 9, 2017 - 2:33pm

A recently released draft of the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s digital identity guidelines has met with approval by vendors.

The draft guidelines revise password security recommendations and altering many of the standards and best practices security professionals use when forming policies for their companies.

The new framework recommends, among other things:

  • Remove periodic password change requirements

There have been multiple studies that have shown requiring frequent password changes to actually be counterproductive to good password security, said Mike Wilson, founder of PasswordPing. NIST said this guideline was suggested because passwords should be changed when a user wants to change it or if there is indication of breach.

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Categories: Opinion

IDG Contributor Network: 3 secrets that successful CIOs use when hiring for digital - Opinion - May 9, 2017 - 2:00pm

Executives are in a triple-tough spot. They’re boxed in with declining budgets. In addition, they’re rarely able to dedicate adequate time to hire qualified and — more importantly — competent team members. Finally, the positions they look to fill likely weren’t created out of a new need but were vacated by the abrupt departure of prior staff. Shrinking budgets, lack of time and urgent needs are the essence of bad hires.

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Categories: Opinion

Cloud security startup RedLock automates public-cloud protection - News - May 9, 2017 - 2:00pm

Cloud security startup RedLock comes out of stealth mode today with a service that helps defend business resources that reside in pubic clouds, gives customers visibility into how these resources are being used and stores records of that activity for auditing and forensics.

+More on Network World: FBI/IC3: Vile $5B business e-mail scam continues to breed+


Because virtual machines, application instances and workloads change rapidly it’s hard to get a good picture of what’s going on within cloud services such as Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure, says RedLock’s CEO Varun Badwhar. “It’s hard to manually monitor and control,” he says.

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Categories: Opinion

Java modularity specification opposed by Red Hat, IBM is voted down - News - May 9, 2017 - 1:53pm

A Java modularity specification failed to pass in a vote by Java executive committee members, leaving the future of the technology in question. The issue could hold up the planned July 27 release of Java 9, which is slated to include modularity.

Balloting on Java Specification Request 376 was completed on Monday. The modular plan for Java, intended to make it easier to scale the platform, has been opposed by companies including Red Hat and IBM. Red Hat, in particular, questioned many parts of the plan, including raising issues about potential application compatibility problems.

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Categories: Opinion

McNealy sees Sun's past in IoT's future - News - May 9, 2017 - 1:00pm

When Sun Microsystems said, "The network is the computer," it might have been talking about the Internet of Things, which was little more than an idea at the time. Today, more machines than ever are talking to other machines, and computing is being distributed across far-flung networks.

Onetime Sun CEO Scott McNealy sees some of the legendary company's vision coming to fruition in an IoT "data bus" from a small Silicon Valley outfit called Real-Time Innovations. On Tuesday, McNealy became the first member of RTI's Advisory Board.

RTI's data bus is middleware for delivering the right information at the right time to all the people and systems that need it. The software runs on meshed computing nodes that can be a small as a microcontroller, and it uses several kinds of network connections to make sure the data gets through.

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Categories: Opinion

ServiceNow taps AI to automate everyday workflows - News - May 9, 2017 - 12:44pm

ServiceNow is bringing enhanced machine-learning capabilities to its Now Platform for business process automation to help customers prevent outages, automatically route service requests, and predict and benchmark IT performance.

The AI capabilities will be offered through the upcoming Intelligent Automation Engine, announced at the company's Knowledge conference in Orlando Tuesday. The move strengthens ServiceNow's base in IT management while making further inroads into other areas of the enterprise.

The machine-learning capabilities will be brought into ServiceNow's cloud services for security, customer service, and HR. The Intelligent Automation Engine's algorithms are based on technology the company acquired through its purchase of DxContinuum in January.

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Categories: Opinion

Leadership for the IT revolution - Opinion - May 9, 2017 - 12:00pm

Leadership in some form or fashion is taught in every college and university on the planet and has been practiced in every organization that ever existed. Despite that omnipresence, as well as society’s fascination with leadership and ample journalistic treatment of what appears to be a perennial “leadership crisis,” many executives lack a framework to evaluate and improve their own leadership. “Good” and “bad” leadership remains for the most part a subjective, bordering-on-mood-based assessment.

For the past six months, I have been working with a group of early-, mid- and late-stage leaders to better understand the changing state of leadership. To get the ball rolling, stretch the mind and precipitate animated conversation, I asked this group of IT leaders if the traits that made Alexander “great” were still relevant today. They concluded that leadership has evolved significantly in the 2,400 years since the boy king conquered most of the known western world, with contemporary leaders perceived as being more community-focused. 

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(Insider Story)
Categories: Opinion

IDG Contributor Network: Fresh fintech companies to watch in 2017 - Opinion - May 9, 2017 - 11:35am

Over 1,600 representatives of financial institutions, investors, industry analysts and reporters convened at the Spring 2017 Finovate Conference on April 26 in San Jose. With events in Asia, Europe, and the East and West Coasts, Finovate conferences showcase cutting-edge banking and financial technology in a unique, short-form, demo-only format.

Here's a look at 20 impressive companies I met at this year's conference. 


Spacequant offers a mortgage solution called SQ that's designed to to automate multiple manual tasks involved in commercial property underwriting and enable financial institutions to assess value and risk of small-balance commercial real estate properties in minutes. The platform supports extraction and standardization of data from property financial statements, multiple sources of external data about each property and market around it, and provides decision tools for real-time assessment of property value and risk.

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Categories: Opinion

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