“Bad computer memory is one of the three main reasons for random system failures; the other two are heat (usually caused by fans or heatsinks being blocked with dust) and bad power.” — Serdar Yegulalp
Today’s WhatIs.com Word of the Day is memory map, a massive table that tells your computer how much memory is available and helps ensure that data is always written to, and read from, the proper places.
There’s an interesting article at Forbes.com this week about recent advances in understanding human memory. Author Roger Kay writes about his own memory issues and explains how memories may not be held in their entirety in the brain but are maintained as a kind of chemical residue of the original perception.
That means my brain, in effect, uses hash values to store and retrieve data. Does that also mean that when I remember things incorrectly it’s because my brain has suffered from a hash collision? Makes sense to me!
|“Advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) components — in particular, the smart meters that are responsible for measuring and managing the delivery of electricity use for more than 110 million households and companies in the United States — rely on secure communications channels in order to transmit usage data. Many AMI equipment manufacturers rely on PKI for identification, authentication and establishment of secure communications channels.” — Seth Bromberger|
Today’s WhatIs.com Word of the Day is smart meter hack. If you live way out in the country, you may still have an old-fashioned spinning mechanical electrical meter, but you are fast becoming the exception. Ironically, the very features that motivate power companies to install smart meters also make them vulnerable to new kinds of attacks. According to an FBI bulletin, smart meter hacks may end up costing utility companies about $400 million per year.
Keep your eye out for a new kind of service provider who will independently verify the security of AMI components and the smart networks they use.
|“Anonymous is more of a brand and a franchise that is borrowed and often abused by anyone. I’m concerned about the false attacks and pretenders stealing intellectual property in the name of ‘Anonymous.’” — Joshua Corman|
Today’s WhatIs.com Word of the Day is Anonymous, a decentralized hacktivist group which is either a gang of Robin Hood’s merry men, an authoritarian self-appointed collective Sheriff of Nottingham, or simply a group of politically-motivated cowards with computer skills, depending on who you talk to.
Anonymous has its roots in the Antisec movement in the early 2000s and its members, when seen in public, often wear Guy Fawkes masks.
|“Even if you haven’t heard the name ‘seven-segment display’ before, you’ve probably seen quite a few in your lifetime. They appear on pretty much every piece of electronic equipment that needs to display numbers for any reason, like the timer on a microwave oven, the display on a CD player, or the time on your digital wristwatch.” — Dmitry Brant|
Today’s WhatIs.om Word of the Day is seven-segment display. I’m old enough to remember the first wristwatches with digital display — big black things whose seven-segment displays used so much power that the owner had to push a button to light up the display before he could see the time.
“I often ask at customer events how many in the audience can tell me who their most profitable customers are and it’s always surprising how few hands go up.” — Jason Nash
Profitability analysis is a component of enterprise resource planning (ERP) that allows administrators to forecast the profitability of a proposal or optimize the profitability of an existing project.
I’m absolutely lost when it comes to any kind of financial analysis. My eyes glaze over and my head starts to nod whenever I hear the magical words: pivot table.
|“Every time the mouse moves a certain distance, a signal (think of a playing card in a bicycle wheel) is sent to the microcontroller and counted. If 100 of these signals or clicks is equivalent to one mouse ball rotation, and the microcontroller has received 100 clicks in the forward direction and 50 clicks in the sideways direction, the computer, with the aid of some simple programming, can understand that the mouse has moved one ball rotation forward and a half rotation sideways.” – Office of Naval Research Science & Technology|
|“Another important function for enabling strategic sourcing is contract management, key for negotiating and managing terms with suppliers, including pricing and performance requirements. Contract management for procurement should support advanced negotiation functions, including methods to collect and compare vendor bids, as well as functions for managing contracts, improving spend visibility and data analysis.” — Catherine LaCroix|
Today’s WhatIs.com Word of the Day is strategic sourcing. Strategic sourcing differs from conventional purchasing because it places emphasis on the entire life-cycle of a product, not just its initial purchase price.
|“Once everyone is seated introduce the exercise by giving a brief summary of De Bono’s Six Thinking Hats process. Then explain that the group will all put on the same hat and discuss the iteration…and after that they will put on the next hat in the series and so on until the all the hats have been worn.” — Rob Bowley|
Today’s WhatIs.com Word of the Day is six thinking hats retrospective. I just participated in one here at TechTarget and it may have been one of the smoothest retrospectives I’ve ever been part of. I don’t recommend it for every single iteration because that could get boring, but it was a nice change-up. Any kind of structure that moves the discussion along briskly and limits the time people can argue or rant is a good thing. Maybe I’ll try it at the dinner table next family gathering!
|“You double the number of chips when you evolve from single-core to dual-core and from dual-core to quad-core, but what you’re not doubling are the rest of the resources. All cores still must share a single battery, one pool of memory and so on.” — Jessica Dolcourt|
Today’s WhatIs.com Word of the Day is quad-core processor, a chip with four independent units called cores that read and execute CPU instructions such as add, move data, and branch. Although it’s tempting to suppose that a quad-core processor would operate twice as fast as a dual-core processor and four times as fast as a single-core processor, things don’t work out that simply. Results vary depending on the habits of the computer user, the nature of the programs being run, and the compatibility of the processor with other hardware in the system as a whole.