The FBI’s Accidental Argument for Using Blackberry Phones

This week there was another FBI scandal. This one was on how the FBI massively overinflated the numbers of phones they needed access to in order to “protect the nation.” For some time now, they’ve been arguing that they need to be able to have a “secret key” to breach the encryption on smartphones even though it would put the vast majority of high risk US citizens, like politicians and highly-placed executives, at extreme risk. This also seems incredibly hypocritical because, at the same time, they are arguing we shouldn’t use certain Chinese phones because that government may have done the exact same thing (there is no proof—just suspicion). This apparently showcases that they not only don’t realize that if they got a key every major government would also want one, but also that if that key existed its value would be so high it would be virtually impossible to secure. The FBI Position Puts The Nation At Risk If there were a universal key to break smartphone encryption the value of that key would make it virtually impossible to protect given state-level players would all want it. Almost any key short of a Quantum Key (which doesn’t really exist yet) can be brute force discovered with enough computing power and governments have access to the latest supercomputers. However, given how relatively easy it has been for hackers to gain access to otherwise secure government documents, they probably wouldn’t have to go to such lengths. Simply spear phish someone that had access, bribe or blackmail them and they key could be had from almost any government agency. We simply aren’t that secure. To read the complete article, CLICK HERE NOTE: This column was originally published in the Pund-IT...

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IBM’s Cloud Private for Data—The Next Enterprise Platform

The idea of computing platforms has been discussed by IT industry analyst firms for years, fueling reams of reports and service engagements designed to help enterprise customers come to terms with ever-evolving computing trends. The concept held up pretty well initially, since the first two platforms were closely aligned with well-established mainframe and client/server architectures. This provides context for a blog that Rob Thomas, GM of IBM’s Analytics organization, posted this week titled, “The Next Enterprise Platform.” In it, Thomas laid-out an argument for what constitutes such a platform, including the ability to span on-premises private cloud and public cloud environments in a consistent manner. In addition, since such platforms “have to start where the data is,” that necessitates that successful efforts will be designed “from the enterprise out.” Thomas focused his comments on how IBM is addressing those and other complementary points with its new IBM Cloud Private (ICP) for Data platform and services. Let’s consider those points and how close they are to hitting the Next Enterprise Platform mark. To read the complete article, CLICK HERE NOTE: This column was originally published in the Pund-IT...

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HP Steps Up to AMD Laptop/Desktop Opportunity

There is a lot of distrust surrounding the Intel brand at the moment largely due to a sequence of events which included a slow disclosure of a serious security flaw (which appears to be getting worse), a secret early disclosure of this flaw to China (which has technical ties to North Korea), related patch problems, their CEO apparently fleeing Intel stock. This damaged trust and raised the question of why anyone would want to invest in a company, for product or stock, that the firm’s own CEO didn’t think was a good investment and this comes on top of the insider trading concerns raised by the activity. In the meantime, AMD released their strongest set of processors in their history, generally equal to or better than Intel’s offerings, and providing unique values in areas like single socket servers. Against that launch Dell, HP, and Lenovo brought out new products. However, it is interesting to note, that of the 3 HP was by far the most aggressive releasing entire lines of offerings. Let’s talk about why this could play particularly well for HP. To read the complete article, CLICK HERE NOTE: This column was originally published in the Pund-IT...

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IBM Storage Insights: Here’s To Your Storage’s Health…

Storage systems are inherently complex and IT users need to manage their storage environment’s performance, capacity utilization, and health constantly. Vendors have long helped with Call Home capabilities where a storage system sends storage usage data to a vendor. Now IBM has turbocharged Call Home with Storage Insights where more data is collected, where users are able to better self-service their needs through using a feature-rich dashboard, and where IBM can provide deeper and broader technical support when the user needs that extra level of storage management support. Let’s look more deeply into IBM Storage Insights. IBM Storage Insights Delivers a Turbocharged Call Home Capability Call Home has long been a standard and well-accepted feature for many block-based storage systems whereby metadata (such as on performance and capacity utilization) is transmitted from a customer datacenter to a vendor site for storage monitoring purposes. The data can then be used for diagnostic, analysis, and planning purposes that can include proactive alerts to avert a potential problem (such as an early detection of a bad batch of disks that are starting to degrade below acceptable levels) or to more rapidly accelerate the resolution of a problem that has unexpectedly occurred. Although Call Home capabilities vary among vendors, traditional systems can be limited in a number of ways: Reactive alerts only to error conditions such as hardware failures as limited metadata prevents broader usage value; for example, among many other concerns, this means that proactive support for configuration optimization may not be available Users do not have an interface with the system at the vendor site that allows them to self-service, self-manage the process as much as possible; that means a greater (and unnecessary) level of reliance on the vendor for support; while necessary support is valuable, you do not want to in-effect delegate decision-making to someone who is not as familiar with your storage systems as you are May focus on individual storage systems rather than on all the storage systems so there is no unified pane of glass for an IT user to view all critical events easily (usually at a single glance); this makes a storage administrator’s life more difficult The overview of IBM Storage Insights below reveals how IBM turbocharges Storage Insights to overcome those limitations and to provide even more features and functionality. To read the complete article, CLICK HERE NOTE: This column was originally published in the Pund-IT...

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Is Dell Right? Was The MacBook Air Stupid?

Steve Jobs was a natural manipulator, so much so that folks often referred to him as having his own Reality Distortion Field. This allowed him to say often even contradict himself and get away with it. For instance he once said that video on an iPod was stupid and that no one would ever adapt a tablet because it lacked a keyboard (there is a list of his 6 most impressive false statements here). One effort that really screwed up the PC market for a while was his forced march to the ultimate thin Notebook Computer the MacBook Air. It was a lust worthy device, but the tradeoffs were painful, so much so that Lenovo made fun of it in this video. Why The MacBook Air Sort Of Sucked Now I’m sure a lot of folks legitimately liked the MacBook Air, but I’ve known several that quickly learned they couldn’t live with it. It was simply the wrong product for them and yet they were convinced by some impressive marketing that it was a “Magical” product only to find it was instead a bad buy. To read the complete article, CLICK HERE NOTE: This column was originally published in the Pund-IT...

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