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Opinion

Sony's clever image sensor helps autonomous cars see better

CIO.com - News - May 8, 2017 - 8:41pm

Sony has developed a CCD image sensor that can help autonomous cars make sense of electronic road signs and see better when transitioning between dark tunnels and daylight.

The IMX390 sensor has an anti-flicker function that means images of LED road signs come out clear. As LED signs are often used to indicate temporary road conditions or changes in speed limits, it's important for an autonomous car to be able to recognize them.

On a standard sensor, LED signs appear to flicker or have a strobing effect due to a difference in the rate at which the sensor scans every second and the road sign is displayed. A similar problem is sometimes seen when a conventional camera is pointed towards a television set.

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Categories: Opinion

Linux Foundation to develop tool for building blockchain business networks

CIO.com - News - May 8, 2017 - 8:38pm

The Linux Foundation announced a new software project under its Hyperledger open consortium aimed at creating a collaboration tool for building blockchain business networks -- or smart contracts -- and their deployment across a distributed ledger.

The new project, called Hyperleder Composer, is a modeling language based on JavaScript and with REST API support, that allows non-developers and developers to model their business network. The language also supports modeling of relationships and data validation rules.

For example, all blockchain business networks share certain elements, such as assets, participants, identities, transactions, and registries. With existing blockchain or distributed ledger technologies, it can be difficult for organizations to take a blockchain business use case and map the concepts into running code.

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Categories: Opinion

IDG Contributor Network: How CEOs can attract and retain top talent

CIO.com - Opinion - May 8, 2017 - 7:52pm

In the face of this year’s political disruption, corporate fears of recession and cybersecurity are legitimate. Not surprisingly, a 2017 global CEO survey reflects those worries. More surprising, however, is an even bigger C-suite concern: ensuring the quality of their people.

Attracting and retaining top talent are now the biggest fears of U.S. executives, and with good reason. The next generation of leaders is most likely to be facing ongoing, broad and ill-defined challenges from the unrelenting digital transformation and the competitive demands it spawns.

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Categories: Opinion

Oracle's next big business is selling your info

CIO.com - News - May 8, 2017 - 7:44pm

There’s a decent chance you're part of Oracle’s next big business. Not selling products to you, but selling you as a product. That's the idea behind the Oracle Data Cloud, a massive pool of information about consumers and companies.

The tech titan has put it together by tracking people across the web and buying data from a variety of sources. People who have their data included may not even know that they’ve opted in for that data collection.

There’s no big red button that someone has to click in order to be a part of the company's data collection machine. Instead, its base of user data is fed by a network of third parties. The Data Cloud is primarily fed by three types of sources: publishers, like Forbes and Edmunds, retail loyalty programs, and traditional data brokers like Experian and IHS.

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Categories: Opinion

Merged Dell EMC busts out Isilon, XtremIO, and VMax updates

CIO.com - News - May 8, 2017 - 6:32pm

Dell EMC is making one of its broadest rollouts of updated storage gear in years at Dell EMC World on Monday, packing more capacity and performance into several product lines.

Coming several months after the completion of the Dell-EMC merger, the update includes the second generation of EMC's XtremIO all-flash array, a new architecture for its Isilon network-attached storage platform, and an improved flash module for the VMax line.

Some of the gains made in these products flow from improvements that come like clockwork from other players in the industry. SSDs keep getting bigger, with up to 15.4TB units now available in some of this gear, and Intel CPUs advance with new and faster chipsets, including Haswell (in Isilon) and Broadwell (in VMax).

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Categories: Opinion

Microsoft pulls plug on Windows 10's debut version

CIO.com - News - May 8, 2017 - 6:31pm

Microsoft will issue the final security update for the debut version of Windows 10 tomorrow.

Windows 10 1507 -- Microsoft tags feature upgrades with a yymm label -- will receive its last security patches on May 9. The retirement date had been quietly announced last month when it appeared on several support documents.

[ Related: Windows 10 Redstone: A guide to the builds ]

"The time has now come to end servicing for version 1507," one of those documents stated.

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Categories: Opinion

Dell strengthens data center stack with shiny new assets

CIO.com - News - May 8, 2017 - 6:00pm

Just a few years back, Dell said it didn't want to mimic sloppy behemoths like IBM or HP and, instead, wanted to be lean and focus on the mid-market.

But after a US$67 billion merger with EMC in 2016, the new company called Dell Technologies is a full-bodied systems integrator, offering hardware, networking, storage, and services.

In the meanwhile, the company's rivals slimmed down. The new Hewlett-Packard Enterprise focuses on data-center hardware, while IBM focuses on software.

Dell Technologies is taking a page from Alphabet, a bunch of autonomous companies like Google working together. Dell Technologies includes hardware company Dell and storage provider EMC, with many independent operational units that have combined to strengthen the company's infrastructure stack.

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Categories: Opinion

Dell EMC's newest switches will come with its open network OS

CIO.com - News - May 8, 2017 - 6:00pm

Dell's drive into open networking accelerated on Monday with the announcement of the first switches to ship with OS10, the company's network operating system that's based on open source.

At Dell EMC World in Las Vegas, the company introduced two data-center switches running OS10 Enterprise Edition, an enhanced version of the open-source OS that Dell announced early last year.

The software is based on technologies from the Linux Foundation and the Open Compute Project and is already available through an extended beta to customers who already have hardware. The Enterprise Edition is a complete software platform, including Dell's networking stack, but its open-source foundation means it can be extended with third-party software, said Jeff Baher, Dell EMC's executive director, networking.

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Categories: Opinion

IDG Contributor Network: How Google Cloud will bring AI, machine learning to enterprise software

CIO.com - Opinion - May 8, 2017 - 5:54pm

Google has been quietly hard at work for some time now, developing its artificial intelligence and cloud capabilities to do something new. And at the Google’s Cloud Next conference in March the company announced that it was developing tech to aid machine learning for enterprise business.

Eric Schmidt, the chairman of Google’s parent company, Alphabet, said the company had invested $30 billion into the Google Cloud Platform in order to develop its analysis and artificial intelligence capabilities for the program. The move, he said, was an effort to get into the game of big data, information Schmidt said nations would fight for.

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Categories: Opinion

IDG Contributor Network: Resisting? Running for office? Get trained online, you will.

CIO.com - Opinion - May 8, 2017 - 5:49pm

Darkness is in the air. The Rebel Alliance is hopelessly outmatched. The Empire terrorizes the galaxy. The rebels train to fight back. The ‘force’ is with them...

Oops. Wrong script. That’s Star Wars.

Back in the real world, thousands of activists hone their skills to resist and run for office. But, how do you train an army of volunteers and candidates to bring about change? Does online training really work? What resources already exist? What's the right software platform? 

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Categories: Opinion

IDG Contributor Network: 5 tips to help overcome fear of change: It’s going to be (more than) OK

CIO.com - Opinion - May 8, 2017 - 5:34pm

Ask your office-mates how they feel about changes to at-work technology. The general response will probably be, “I'm OK with change; just don’t mess anything up!” Most of us feel lucky to keep our heads above water on an average day, and the thought of introducing something new can cause shivers of dread.

So how can technology departments help end users overcome fear of change when trying to take business to the next level? As I mention in my book The Four Intelligences of the Business Mind, many people harbor either a fear of failure, fear of success, or both.

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Categories: Opinion

IDG Contributor Network: Why blockchain, ICOs and tokenization will transform your personal data

CIO.com - Opinion - May 8, 2017 - 5:05pm

You’ll soon be able to buy and sell health data with tokens, similar to how you’re issued drink tickets at a comedy club. The first step in understanding why tokens will be important to the future of health is differentiating an IPO (initial public offering) from an ICO (initial coin offering), which we’ll discuss here.

The definition of what a token is has changed. Traditionally, tokens were visible representations of value. Arcade tokens were physical coins that you bought with quarters. The words “Arcade Only” were stamped on these coins. The machines in the arcade network didn’t accept quarters — only tokens. Arcade tokens were valid only at a single arcade location. In the future, tokens — thanks to blockchain — will be durable and transferable.

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Categories: Opinion

US device searches at borders ignite resistance

CIO.com - News - May 8, 2017 - 4:37pm

Aaron Gach wasn't expecting U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents to demand to search his smartphone when he returned to San Fransisco from Belgium in February.

The artist and magician, a U.S. citizen, had just attended an art event near Brussels and was targeted for advanced screening by CBP after his flight landed in the U.S. During a series of questions from CBP agents ("Did you pack your bag yourself?"), they repeatedly asked to search his smartphone, Gach said.

"Do you understand that if you choose not to unlock your phone we may need to detain your other personal effects?" one agent told him, according to a description of the encounter that Gach posted online.

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Categories: Opinion

How to prevent your data from being searched at the US border

CIO.com - News - May 8, 2017 - 4:37pm

During the past two years, U.S. Customs and Border Patrol has targeted ever larger numbers of travelers' smartphones and laptops for searches as they cross the border into the country.

U.S. courts have generally upheld a so-called border search exception to the Constitution's Fourth Amendment, allowing CBP to search electronic devices without a court-ordered warrant. In April, a group of lawmakers introduced legislation to require warrants to search devices owned by U.S. citizens and other legal residents, but for now, the law allows for warrantless device searches.

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Categories: Opinion

IDG Contributor Network: iOS: Has Apple damaged developers?

CIO.com - Opinion - May 8, 2017 - 4:31pm

As I write this post Apple’s stock has hit a new high of $151 per share, and the company is swimming in money. Apple's treasure hoard has topped $250 billion and shows no sign of slowing down. Apple is one of the richest and most successful companies in history.

But what about the developers that create the apps in Apple’s iOS App Store? One writer recently considered the idea that Apple has actually done an enormous amount of damage to developers by fostering a race to the bottom in terms of software pricing.

Matt Gemmell writes on his blog:

One measure of the value of a person’s creative output is what another person is willing to pay for it. Low prices actively court those who place less value on work. That’s not an admonishment; it’s just a simple fact. And no, you can’t balance the price-point and the sales figures to achieve the same income: there are far, far more people who will only buy at $1 (or free, if you’re trying to sell in-app purchases). If you sell at $3 instead, your number of sales will go down by much more than the factor of three that you increased the price by.

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Categories: Opinion

Supply chain attack hits Mac users of HandBrake video converter app

CIO.com - News - May 8, 2017 - 4:04pm

Hackers compromised a download server for HandBrake, a popular open-source program for converting video files, and used it to distribute a macOS version of the application that contained malware.

The HandBrake development team posted a security warning on the project's website and support forum on Saturday, alerting Mac users who downloaded and installed the program from May 2 to May 6 to check their computers for malware.

The attackers compromised only a download mirror hosted under download.handbrake.fr, with the primary download server remaining unaffected. Because of this, users who downloaded HandBrake-1.0.7.dmg during the period in question have a 50/50 chance of having received a malicious version of the file, the HandBreak team said.

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Categories: Opinion

Microsoft's Surface Pro 5 won't appear before a 'meaningful change'

CIO.com - News - May 8, 2017 - 3:24pm

The latest rumors about the so-called Surface Pro 5 appear to be just that, based on recent statements from Microsoft’s hardware chief. Despite the Surface Pro 4 launching well over 18 months ago, if Microsoft’s working on a new tablet as expected, it seems likely to be a simple refresh of the current model.

Speaking with CNET, Microsoft hardware chief Panos Panay said the company doesn’t plan to produce the expected Surface Pro 5 until there’s a way to make “meaningful change” in the product. Panay warns that doesn’t necessarily mean Microsoft’s waiting for some amazing new processor—which Intel’s current Kaby Lake is not, compared to the Skylake chip already in the Surface Pro 4.

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Categories: Opinion

Android Wear 2.0 finally arrives on Huawei Watch as slow rollout continues

CIO.com - News - May 8, 2017 - 3:22pm

Android Wear 2.0 has already been out for a couple months, but it’s been slow to catch on. The new 2.0 watches leave quite a bit to be desired, and the update has been slow to reach some of the most popular devices. But we can finally cross one of our favorites off the list.

Owners of the original Huawei Watch can now load up the newest version of Android Wear on their wrists. Over the weekend, the update began rolling out to devices that were running the Android Wear 2.0 developer’s preview, and now the full over-the-air version is being pushed to all users.

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Categories: Opinion

Lowe’s now offers inexpensive professional monitoring with its Iris smart home service

CIO.com - News - May 8, 2017 - 2:00pm

Here’s a smart-home spin on a familiar philosophical question: If an alarm goes off in an empty house where there’s no one to hear it, does it make a sound?

If you want your smart home system to also provide home security, having a third party that can contact emergency responders on your behalf is an essential feature. If a burglar breaks in or a fire breaks out while you’re away from home, a local siren will provide little protection. If it’s loud enough, it might convince the thief to beat a hasty retreat, but it will do nothing to prevent your house from burning down.

Lowe's

The second-generation Lowe's by Iris smart home hub.

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Categories: Opinion

Harman Kardon teases the Invoke speaker, a Cortana-powered Echo competitor

CIO.com - News - May 8, 2017 - 1:47pm

Harman Kardon’s Invoke speaker, the Microsoft Cortana-powered answer to the Google Home and Amazon Echo, will ship this fall according to a preview page with the first official images of the tabletop device.

Though pricing hasn’t yet been revealed, Harman Kardon said that the Invoke will perform three major tasks: make and receive calls with Skype, control popular music services like Microsoft Groove, and “get things done” with Cortana, Microsoft’s digital assistant.

Microsoft said it would team up last year with Harman Kardon as part of a new Internet of Things initiative powered by Cortana. Though the initial partnership was expected inside connected cars, it appears both companies will leap into homes first. Harman was showing off the new Invoke on a preview page on its website that's since be unpublished, inviting potential buyers to sign up. Thurrott.com first noted the page earlier. 

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Categories: Opinion

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