Enterprise IT Watch Blog


October 30, 2012  10:56 AM

This week in tech history: Happy birthday Bill Gates

Michael Tidmarsh Michael Tidmarsh Profile: Michael Tidmarsh

Bill Gates image via Shutterstock

On October 28, 1955, America’s wealthiest man and Microsoft’s co-founder Bill Gates was born in Seattle, Washington.

During his storied career, Gates made Microsoft into the world’s largest personal-computer software company and created the Microsoft Windows operating system before retiring in 2008.

He still remains the company’s chairman and recently talked about its new products (Windows 8 and Microsoft Surface). He also runs the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which aims to end poverty and expand opportunities for education and information technology.

What do you think was Gates’s greatest contribution? Tell us in the comments below.

Each Tuesday, the ITKE team will take you back in time, as we take a look at the events that have changed technology history. Have a tip for us? Email mtidmarsh@techtarget.com or find us on Twitter (@ITKE).

Disclaimer: All posts presented in the “This week in tech history” series are subjectively selected by ITKnowledgeExchange.com community managers and staff for entertainment purposes only. They are not sponsored or influenced by outside sources.

October 29, 2012  9:16 AM

Share your story: How has Hurricane Sandy impacted your data center?

Ben Rubenstein Ben Rubenstein Profile: Ben Rubenstein

Image of Hurricane Sandy path

As anyone who lives on or near the East Coast of the U.S. (as we do here at ITKnowledgeExchange) knows, Hurricane Sandy is nearing landfall, with threats of strong winds, heavy rain and flooding in many areas. People are preparing by buying canned food, bottled water and batteries in bulk, moving lawn items indoors, and watching the Weather Channel around the clock (I prefer Google’s handy crisis map mashup, seen above). Some say that power could be out for days in certain areas.

The storm could disrupt people’s lives in many ways — and, like any natural disaster, it presents a real threat to IT operations around the country. How has your organization been preparing your data center for the storm? What kind of disaster recovery plan do you have in place? How has Sandy impacted your ability to provide service to your users?

We want to hear your stories. Share them in the comments below, assuming you have power — and stay safe!


October 25, 2012  6:41 PM

Windows 8 and Surface: Just the Tweets, Ma’am

Ben Rubenstein Ben Rubenstein Profile: Ben Rubenstein

Missed out on the Windows 8 and Surface announcements from Microsoft? We were watching closely (from afar) and here’s the best of the commentary we saw. Check it out below or via Storify.

Continued »


October 25, 2012  10:59 AM

IT infographic: How secure are your passwords?

Michael Tidmarsh Michael Tidmarsh Profile: Michael Tidmarsh

For many users, keeping your password secure is a very difficult task. With so many websites to log into, most people continue to use the same one, making it easy for hackers. This infographic from Password Genie shows several characteristics of  ‘weak’ passwords and tips on how you can secure them.

Also, check out Ken Harthun’s blog (Security Corner), as he recently posted an article on Yahoo!’s list of the top 25 most popular (and insecure) passwords in 2012.

 

 


October 24, 2012  10:05 AM

YouTube IT video of the week: Bill Gates talks everything Microsoft

Michael Tidmarsh Michael Tidmarsh Profile: Michael Tidmarsh

As the hoopla surrounding Windows 8 and the Surface continues to build this week, Microsoft’s Chairman Bill Gates sat down and talked about the company’s new products and what it could mean for the future of technology.

For the latest news and reviews surrounding Microsoft’s new products, make sure to check out Nathan Simon’s (The Real and Virtual Adventures of Nathan the IT Guy) and Joshua Wood’s blog (TechStop).

Disclaimer: All videos presented in the “YouTube IT Video of the Week” series are subjectively selected by ITKnowledgeExchange.com community managers and staff for entertainment purposes only. They are not sponsored or influenced by outside sources.


October 23, 2012  2:56 PM

Hey Reddit, Joyent wants to steal you away from AWS

Ben Rubenstein Ben Rubenstein Profile: Ben Rubenstein

If you were looking to waste time on the Internet yesterday, you might’ve been out of luck.

Pinterest, Flipboard, Foursquare and Netflix were among the many sites impacted by the latest Amazon Web Services outage, but none inspired more hand-wringing than Reddit, the increasingly infamous community that some have called the “secret backbone of the Internet” (it’s often the starting point for viral content).

Where some saw nothing but bad news, the marketing team at Joyent, a competing cloud provider, recognized an opportunity. In a post on the company blog, Joyent made its pitch to Reddit, promising 99.999% uptime and a storage block that doesn’t depend on network connections to work — all of which would translate to better availability of rage comics, AMAs and Ryan Gosling memes.

The post demonstrated that Joyent knows its way around the Reddit community, but how did the notoriously skeptical Redditors respond? With a mixture of follow-up jokes, insults and, well, some serious questions about Joyent’s claims. “Nobody can guarantee they won’t let you down at some point,” said user calzoneman. Others pointed to Joyent’s much-publicized issues with honoring lifetime accounts.

And then there’s platinumbinder, whose comment may sum up the sentiment of productivity-seeking managers everywhere: “I have a feeling that reddit downtime is actually beneficial for the world, so hosting on servers that have reasonable amounts of downtime is actually a positive thing.”

It’s doubtful that Reddit will actually make any kind of switch, but you have to give points to Joyent for creativity. Right? Ok, go back to wasting time now.


October 23, 2012  9:37 AM

This week in tech history: First computer-network wiretap

Michael Tidmarsh Michael Tidmarsh Profile: Michael Tidmarsh

Wiretap image via Shutterstock

On October 23, 1995, a federal judge authorized the use of ‘wiretapping’ in a computer network for the first time. This led to the arrest and extradition of Argentine Julio Cesar Ardita, who accessed several U.S. government sites including the Defense Department and NASA by using several accounts from the Harvard University system.

Ardita pleaded guilty in 1998 on charges unlawfully intercepting and damaging government files and was sentenced to three years’ probation.

During Ardita’s extradition hearing, former Attorney General Janet Reno said, “Cybercrime will turn the Internet into the Wild West of the 21st history.”

Each Tuesday, the ITKE team will take you back in time, as we take a look at the events that have changed technology history. Have a tip for us? Email mtidmarsh@techtarget.com or find us on Twitter (@ITKE).

Disclaimer: All posts presented in the “This week in tech history” series are subjectively selected by ITKnowledgeExchange.com community managers and staff for entertainment purposes only. They are not sponsored or influenced by outside sources.


October 18, 2012  1:11 PM

IT infographic: What people really think about cloud computing

Michael Tidmarsh Michael Tidmarsh Profile: Michael Tidmarsh

With ‘cloud computing’ becoming a hot topic in the IT world, users don’t understand what the ‘cloud’ really is. This infographic from Citrix shows what people really know about it.

Do you think this is the case? Share your thoughts in the discussion below.


October 18, 2012  10:21 AM

Visual stimuli: Hot data center pics making the rounds

Ben Rubenstein Ben Rubenstein Profile: Ben Rubenstein

Yesterday, computer users all over the world salivated in front of their computer screens, drooling over rare, previously forbidden images. What made this particular day special was that the photos in question were totally safe for work.

For the first time, Google opened the doors to its data centers, sharing pictures and video of these massive operations. Wired’s Steven Levy was among those who got an exclusive first look at one of the data centers (a behemoth of a building in Lenoir, North Carolina), and his resulting story is a great read.

What makes these images so compelling? For the average person, it’s a chance to unravel some of the mystery behind one of the world’s most powerful companies, and a reminder that for all the talk about cloud this and cloud that, the Internet is a real, physical thing.  Most IT pros have long internalized that truth, but still relish the chance to gawk at a super-sized version of the technologies they oversee on a daily basis. These are the technologies that run much of our lives, and so we can never have too much exposure to them.

Google’s doing plenty of interesting things in its data centers, from custom-built servers to energy-saving innovations (take that, New York Times). But it’s not the only company with an intriguing server story to tell; in the new book, The Art of the Data Center, Douglas Alger showcases 18 other data centers that  demonstrate impressive processing power and creativity, interviewing the people behind these modern landmarks (there are a ton of data center pictures, too). In looking through the book, I was struck by the range of designs and approaches, which took into account things like geographic location (e.g., ACT’s tornado-resistant building in Iowa City) and history (the Lakeside Technology Center in a former Chicago printing plant).

Image of Bahnhof data center entrance

The entrance to the Bahnhof data center in Stockholm. Courtesy of Bahnhof/InformIT.

All the data centers featured are beautiful in their own way, but for sheer uniqueness, I’d have to give the prize to Bahnhof’s 10,000 square-foot space in a former nuclear bunker in Stockholm, Sweden (which includes a 687-gallon saltwater fish tank and two Maybach diesel submarine engines) and the Barcelona Supercomputing Center, built into a gorgeous 1920s chapel. Both are powerful reminders of how the world is constantly evolving, using old spaces to meet new demands. As for what the future looks like…that picture is still a little blurry.

Want to see these data centers for yourself? We’re giving away a copy of The Art of the Data Center in our Halloween costume photo contest.


October 17, 2012  8:32 AM

YouTube IT video of the week: SNL presents ‘Tech Talk’

Michael Tidmarsh Michael Tidmarsh Profile: Michael Tidmarsh

In this hilarious Saturday Night Live sketch, several “experts” review the flaws of the new iPhone 5, until some unexpected guests show up during an action-packed episode of ‘Tech Talk’.

Disclaimer: All videos presented in the “YouTube IT Video of the Week” series are subjectively selected by ITKnowledgeExchange.com community managers and staff for entertainment purposes only. They are not sponsored or influenced by outside sources.


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