BetaNews Staff

Enterprise 2.0: why it should never take three weeks to make a change to your web application

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"Would you like to slow down the pace of development of your products?"

This was the question Adrian Cockcroft from Battery Ventures asked at the Nginx conference in October. The answer of course is "No". This is 2014, we see companies like Netflix can roll out changes daily and in some cases, hourly. Yet for many enterprises, it can still take weeks to add a new site or even a small new feature for the line of business. Even NASA can fly to the moon and back in less time!

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What will happen to legacy applications when we move to the cloud? (hint: it’s not what you think)

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Legacy systems and the cloud. The two do sound incongruous. When we think of legacy systems, we often recall those old cartoons where a computer took up the better part of a wall and was attended by harried-looking attendants in white lab coats. Of course, it has been a while since legacy systems have been quite so physically massive. They’re often still massive enough, though, to consume a lot of hardware. Maybe that’s why it’s still hard to imagine legacy systems taking up residence in the cloud, though that’s more and more frequently exactly what they’re doing.

And they’re often doing quite well in their cloud abodes, which sometimes represent a significant savings on their old legacy hardware. In fact, moving these old applications can drastically cut the data center budget.

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More elders embrace Facebook, adult usage remains consistent

Facebook apologizes for miserable, automated Year In Review posts

The latest research indicates that Facebook is maintaining strong membership figures despite the rise of rival social networks such as Twitter and LinkedIn.

A study of 1,597 adult Internet users by the Pew Research Centre found that 71 percent were using Facebook, the same amount as in 2013.

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Pre-requisites for a successful enterprise Continuous Delivery implementation

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Continuous Delivery as a methodology and tool to meet the ever-increasing demand to deliver better software faster is fast gaining the attention of businesses today. Continuous delivery, with its emphasis on keeping software in a release-ready state at all times, is a natural evolution from continuous integration and agile software development practices. However, the cultural and operational challenges to achieving continuous delivery are much greater. For most organizations, continuous delivery requires adaptation and extension of existing software release processes. The roles, relationships and responsibilities of people across the organization can also be impacted. The tools used to deliver, update and maintain software must support automation and collaboration properly, in order to minimize delays and provide tight feedback cycles across the business.

Organizations looking to transition to Continuous Delivery should consider the following seven prerequisites -- these are practical steps that will allow them to successfully execute the cultural and operational changes within the regulatory and business constraints they face.

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Messaging services are killing SMS

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50 percent more messages are now sent using WhatsApp when compared to texts, threatening to kill off SMS communications entirely. CEO of the mobile messaging app Jan Koum announced record results last week, demonstrating the platform’s continued growth.

WhatsApp now boasts 700 million monthly active users and processes 30 billion messages a day, or 347,222 every second. Meanwhile, the already sizeable gap in popularity between WhatsApp and texting is set to increase, with the latter experiencing declining usage figures since 2011.

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Should we fear the Internet of Things?

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The Internet of Things, while still largely unknown amongst the general public, is expected to make a big impact in 2015. Research by Gartner indicates that the number of connected devices will reach 4.9 billion this year, but not everyone is getting excited about this developing technology.

Last week in fact, the chair of the Federal Trade Commission Edith Ramirez issued a pretty strong warning regarding IoT devices and the threat that they pose to privacy. Countering those who put forward potential IoT benefits, Ms Ramirez argued that the "deeply personal" information gathered by connected devices has the potential to be seriously invasive. "I question the notion that we must put sensitive consumer data at risk on the off-chance a company might someday discover a valuable use for the information", she said. However, is Ms Ramirez merely scaremongering, or should consumers really be worried about the predicted explosion in IoT products?

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Why CES 2015 was the best yet

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Technology’s yearly trip to Sin City has been and gone in a heartbeat with gadgets and gizmos packing the halls of the Las Vegas Convention Centre as far as the eye can see. As soon as delegates landed they were inundated with power outlets that reminded everyone, yes, you’re in the center of the technology universe for the next few days and you can bet we won’t let you forget that!

That wasn’t the only thing that made CES 2015 the best one yet, and here are five of the top takeaways:

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Young companies 'survive success' in IT with network monitoring

Satisfied Happy Businessman Relaxing Office

The good news is that your company is growing -- sales are up and you are hiring more employees. However, there are some challenges that go along with that growth. As your company grows, so does the number of employees and customers, which can put more strain on the IT system that supports all those new people. IT systems can get taxed and overloaded. For example, you could have a large increase in visits to your website during a successful product launch, but that could lead to slow performance or even a total outage. Any type of delay or disruption can lead to lost customers, lost revenue and could hurt your company’s overall reputation.

Managing this type of IT strain is especially challenging for small companies and startups that often have only one person working in IT. Some aren’t even that well-staffed, with 27 percent of small businesses having no IT support, according to a 2014 SMB Group study. So, how does a growing startup business survive its success and keep IT systems running properly? To do that, they first need to understand the potential issues that could arise, and then examine what they can do to fix or prevent them.

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Audi's in-car tablet is a thing of beauty

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Audi has become the first automotive firm to launch its own brand in-car tablet computer, as revealed at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show.

The German company will offer the device alongside its new Q7 car, in the hope that it will provide a more fulfilling rear seat entertainment service.

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Apple files a patent for a phone that bends -- wait, doesn't it already have one?

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Apple has filed a patent for a flexible phone (or more broadly a flexible portable device), which can be bent or even folded up without damaging its internal components.

Given the bendgate controversy of last year, whereby Apple’s new iPhone 6 models were found to bend slightly (as pictured above) in some cases -- but then, as was later proved, so can any thin metal phone -- there are bound to be a few jokes cracked about this one.

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The battle of the translators: man vs machine

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Once, machine translation was only possible in a galaxy far, far away -- from Star Trek’s Universal Translator to Hitchhiker's Babel Fish. But now that Microsoft’s Skype Translator enables callers speaking different languages to converse in real-time via machine translation, that science fiction fantasy has become a non-fiction reality. But in the battle of the translators, who wins -- man or machine?

Skype’s new translator is an impressive technological feat that is able to take spoken words, convert them into text, translate the text, and then synthesize it back into spoken words in the language of the person on the other end of the call, all in a fraction of a second. All-in-all a platform that will be enormously helpful for breaking down barriers and enabling business and social conversations across the planet -- If you haven’t tried it, find a Spanish-speaking friend and check it out. You will be muy soprendido.

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Sony unveils SmartEyeglass Attach and Smart B-Trainer headset

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Sony has announced a couple of new products over at CES which are exploring new concepts in wearables -- though it hasn’t got a huge deal to say about them at this stage.

Specifically, Sony has been talking about its SmartEyeglass Attach, a new concept that further builds on the prototype SmartEyeglass Developer Edition. The Attach is basically a single lens display which can be attached to a normal pair of glasses to provide a small heads-up display for the user, which will work with various sport apps (a number of apps are underway).

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The banking loyalty conundrum: security versus convenience

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Online banking feels like an accepted channel for today’s consumers, especially compared with its latest mobile incarnation. Yet, with online attacks becoming more sophisticated, banks must remain vigilant by implementing technology defenses while enabling the online channel to provide the convenience that customers now expect. However, with their technology defenses, banks must be wary of putting both existing and prospective customers off with tedious password-enabled security measures. Creating a delicate balance between strong security and convenient access is an ongoing challenge.

Recent independent research commissioned by Ping Identity discovered that more than a third of customers would abandon their bank altogether for an experience that combined both security and convenience. Furthermore, only 28.7 percent of respondents described themselves as 'very loyal' to their bank. Banks are clearly walking a fine line with their customers.

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Microsoft looking to do much more with Kinect

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Microsoft is expanding its Kinect team in order to push the boundaries of what is possible with motion sensor technology.

The Redmond-based firm posted a job listing online, hinting at some of the innovative features likely to be included in later versions of Kinect.

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5 major modern network headaches for IT managers

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Identity, access and governance issues remain a priority or many, yet create a number of hurdles for organizations worldwide. But these are not their only pain points. Various systems and multiple networks often stand in opposition to a streamlined approach, but are vital to the automation of a workplace.

Saving time for IT managers from floods of password reset calls, for example, allows these teams to focus on more important priorities, but this is not their only headache. In fact, there are several modern headaches that IT manager unfortunately must face. But there are simple solutions. Let’s take a look.

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