Friday, December 26, 2014

An excellent article. It's a shame no one in the US writes like this any more...
NKorea outage a case study in online uncertainties
North Korea's microscopic corner of the internet has had a rough couple of days, suffering seven outages in 48 hours, according to one web traffic monitor.
… "A large city block in London or New York would have more IP (Internet Protocol) addresses than North Korea,'' said Ofer Gayer, a security researcher at Redwood Shores, California-based Incapsula Inc.
Even on a good day, web watchers see less internet traffic from North Korea than from the Falkland Islands, a North Atlantic archipelago of fewer than 3,000 people, said Gayer. Media companies like Sony easily dwarf the communist country's web presence.
He said that if the network was targeted by a kind of distributed denial-of-service — or DDoS — attack, the list of suspects is endless.
"Any kid that knows how to run a small-sized DDoS amplification attack can do it from his home."
… "This whole incident is a perfect illustration of how technology is equalizing capability,'' Bruce Schneier, a respected security expert, said in a blog post. "In both the original attack against Sony, and this attack against North Korea, we can't tell the difference between a couple of hackers and a government."

You don't have to live in North Korea to hate Sony.
Alleged hackers tweeted smack talk as PlayStation, Xbox users forced offline

A tool for Big Data? (The opposite of those itsy-bitsy smartphone thingies)
Survey of Mainframe Users
BMC Mainframe Survey points to continued reliance on IBM System z – “In October, BMC released their ninth annual mainframe survey, “2014 Annual Mainframe Research Results: Bringing IT to Life Through Digital Transformation”. The survey is widely regarded as a useful insight into today’s IBM mainframe world. Let’s explore some of the findings from the BMC study, by looking at the key talking points.
Future strategy – The study was pretty clear: the mainframe remains part of the long-term business strategy and continues to shape the future of IT, according to 91% of respondents. A growing need for access on the go, 24/7 – for example internet banking – will increase reliance on the mainframe, and raise the demand for Millions of Instructions per Second (MIPS). Usage is expected to continue growing – with 61% of all shops expecting MIPS growth in the next two years, a clear indication of the faith in the mainframe longer-term. This is no surprise. Whether making a credit card payment, getting an insurance quote or booking a holiday, the mainframe provides today, and will continue to provide, ‘mission critical’ processing. The ongoing evolution of the mainframe continues to play an increasingly important role in today’s enterprise IT environments. Most respondents said they take advantage of the mainframe to benefit from updated technology such as mobile and cloud.

A conversation with one of my favorite high school students reminded me that not everyone is aware of Apps like these. Why not?

Math Hero Photo Calculator

Dilbert on “fully immersive” technology.

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