Sunday, January 26, 2014

Most Secure Desktop is Free ?

This month, the British Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) released their security analysis of end-user devices. The GCHQ is the UK equivalent of the US NSA, and provide basic configuration guidance on security standards from OSX to Blackberries.

It's a surprise, though, to find that the OS ranked most secure is Ubuntu, an Open Source Linux platform.

This assessment has a personal side, for me. I just sent off some pre-configured laptops to be used in a Kenyan medical facility and NGO for children affected by HIV+: And, what was delivered to them was, in fact, Ubuntu 12.04. I think anyone can agree that this organization deserves to be secure, at the lowest cost. But, to be able to meet the highest standard, at a zero-cost is a big win for everyone.

Does IT Matter ? The Debate on Its Strategic Value has Taken an Odd Twist

Nicholas Carr made a name by deconstructing the strategic decline of IT for business innovation. Just as it was once imperative for every manufacturer to host their own power plant, so every 21st company has their own IT center. Carr has brilliantly argued that IT is becoming a commodity service, essential, but undistinguished.

What does it mean for Nicholas, when the model begins to revert ? Because of the widespread distribution of alternative energy sources, Utilities are suffering a decline. The demand for U.S. electricity in 2013 is anticipated to be 2% below 2007's peak. Power customers are back in the business of generating their own electricity.

In Liam Denning's article in the Wall Street Journal he notes that,
Subsidies and falling technology costs are making distributed solar power — panels on roofs, essentially — cost-competitive with retail electricity prices in places like the southwestern U.S. . . . . As more people switch to solar, utilities sell less electricity to those customers, especially as they often have the right to sell surplus power from their panels back to the utility.
So, what's the IT metaphor equal to solar panels ? Distributed mobile clouds ?

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Total Game Changer in the Linux World

Centos is joining with RedHat. It's really interesting to gauge the impact with the variety of cloud providers. Azure doesn't have much for RedHat, but totally integrates with Centos.

Not such good news for Canonical, as this gives a real competitor for Ubuntu Server (in terms of licensing and costs).

Could give OpenStack a real punch-up.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Why Chromebook's Popularity Will Continue to Rise

The very smart people working the beta site of RollApp have provided an easy, web interface, for numerous desktop applications.

This service is a perfect for a Chromebook user, who requires more sophisticated applications than is found through the standard Google Docs. 

Now, I can use an inexpensive Chromebook to run LibreOffice or LibreCalc, and save the documents onto my Google Drive or Dropbox.