Internets of Interest for 29th June 2013


Collection of useful, relevant or just fun places on the Internets for 29th June 2013 and a bit commentary about what I’ve found interesting about them:

Is There Any Point to the 12 Times Table? « Wolfram Blog – Why do I never think to question the important things in life.

My government (I’m in the UK) recently said that children here should learn up to their 12 times table by the age of 9. Now, I always believed that the reason why I learned my 12 times table was because of the money system that the UK used to have—12 pennies in a shilling. Since that madness ended with decimalization the year after I was born, by the late 1970s when I had to learn my 12 times table, it already seemed to be an anachronistic waste of time.

The ARM server apocalypse – Storagezilla – Astute analysis from Storagezilla as always, this time on the rise of ARM CPUs and possible disruption to Intel hegemony:

When you consider how desktop computer CPU manufacturer Intel, who was growing like crazy during the golden age of Wintel expansion, demolished the higher performing mega-margin server architectures of the 90’s, the DEC ALPHAs, PA/RISCs and SPARCs of the world as it made IBM POWER (Life assurance provided by the IBM Mainframe monopoly) a niche within a niche, this is one of those industry inflection points which could hammer Intel very hard.

The way Intel’s expansion into the server market was funded by tens of millions of PCs landing on peoples desks and in their homes, ARM’s expansion is being funded by the hundreds of millions of smartphones in people’s pockets and tablets landing in their hands.

Apple – OS X Mavericks – Advanced Technologies – I think that some of the most interesting things happening in Mac OS X are happening at a very fundamental level inside the operating system. This web page highlights what Apple things are most marketable points.

Fast performance and long battery life are two of the things people love about the Mac. With OS X Mavericks, we wanted to take them even further. So we looked at every level of the operating system, from the foundation up to the apps themselves, for ways to save power while also boosting responsiveness. Here are just a few of the innovations that will make your Mac work smarter, not harder.

I have the opinion that OS X as an operating system is far superior to Windows. I also have an opinion that Windows is probably better for developers, especially Enterprise developers for reasons that I can’t quite put my finger on.

Simplify Your Disaster Recovery with Virtual Appliances « by @ioshints – Ivan is recommending software network appliances for better disaster recovery. I agree with software appliances but for a lot more reasons that just DR. Cost, maintenance, sharding, faster provisining are major considerations for em.

Regardless of what the vendors are telling you, it’s hard to get data center disaster recovery right (unless you’re running regular fire drills), and your job usually gets harder due to the intricate (sometimes undocumented) intertwining of physical and virtual worlds. For example, do you know how to get the firewall and load balancer configurations from the failed site implemented in the equipment currently used at disaster recovery site?

I ain’t in Kansas anymore… | Fear Not the Assessor

What’s my point? (Wait. For. It….) Actually I don’t have a point. I’m just acknowledging the disconnect between my experience as a consultant and now as an on staff security architect. I by no means discount the experience I gained from being a consultant. I’ve gained experience in talking to groups and upper management. I’ve been exposed to various technologies, implementations, solutions and their use cases. But boy, I was not prepared for the myriad of obstacles that impede security teams.

People like this give consultants a bad name. If you don’t understand your customers, how can you be “qualified” to give advice ? The IT Security business disgusts me.