Intel continues to optimize its products around AI

Normally, this is the time of year when Intel would hold its Intel Developer Forum conference, which would be replete with new product announcements. But with the demise of the show last year, the company instead held an all-day event that it live-streamed over the web.

The company’s Data Centric Innovation Summit was the backdrop for a series of processor and memory announcements aimed at the data center and artificial intelligence, in particular. Even though Intel is without a leader, it still has considerable momentum. Navin Shenoy, executive vice president and general manager of the Data Center Group, did the heavy lifting.

News about Cascade Lake, the rebranded Xeon server chip

First is news around the Xeon Scalable processor, the rebranded Xeon server chip. The next-generation chip, codenamed “Cascade Lake,” will feature a memory controller for Intel’s new Intel Optane DC persistent memory and an embedded AI accelerator that the company claims will speed up deep learning inference workloads by eleven-fold compared with current-generation Intel Xeon Scalable processors.

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Source: Network World

IDG Contributor Network: Evolution of IT departments to support IoT and digital transformation

You can’t spell IoT without IT, but that doesn’t mean IT departments are big fans of Internet of Things deployments. In fact, we’ve observed that IoT tends to exacerbate some of the challenges that IT departments face within their organizations.

Understanding and anticipating IT’s primary areas of concern can help IoT deployments succeed.

Lines are blurring

Traditionally, the IT department has operated in a vacuum. The focus of IT departments has been in internal support, network management and managing enterprise applications. IoT deployments have been the traditional focus of operations teams that typically deploy point solutions to solve a business issue.

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Source: Network World

Finally, a smart way for insurers to leverage IoT in smart homes

Like many consumers, I tend to be automatically suspicious of insurance companies’ plans to track my behavior. And like many tech journalists, I’m also skeptical of clever new smart home automation schemes. But painful personal experience has me all excited about a new pilot program involving Travelers insurance and Notion smart home sensors.

According to a post in Coverager:

Travelers has tapped Notion, the home awareness solution and smart home sensor, to offer smart home monitoring systems to Travelers customers in California. Travelers is working with Notion to provide data-driven insights to customers through Notion’s home monitoring system in order to prevent and mitigate threats such as water leaks, fire damage, and thefts.

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Source: Network World

Displaying data in a human-friendly way on Linux

Not everyone thinks in binary or wants to mentally insert commas into large numbers to come to grips with the sizes of their files. So it’s not surprising that Linux commands have evolved over several decades to incorporate more human-friendly ways of displaying information to its users. In today’s post, we’re going to look at some of the options provided by various commands that make digesting data just a little easier.

Why not default to friendly?

If you’re wondering why human-friendliness isn’t the default –- we humans are, after all, the default users of computers — you might be asking yourself “Why do we have to go out of our way to get command responses that will make sense to everyone?” The answer is primarily that changing the default output of commands would likely interfere with numerous other processes that were built to expect the default responses. Other tools as well as scripts that have been developed over the decades might break in some very ugly ways if they were suddenly fed output in a very different format than what they were built to expect. It’s probably also true that some of us might prefer to see all of the digits in our file sizes – 1338277310 instead of 1.3G. In any case, switching defaults could be very disruptive while promoting some easy options for more human-friendly responses only involves us learning some command options.

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Source: Network World

Apcela optimizes Office 365 performance, improving user productivity

More than 120 million Microsoft Office accounts have moved from on-premises to the cloud since the launch of Microsoft Office 365. Many of those accounts belong to users in large enterprises that weren’t fully prepared for the transition. The fact is as many as 30 to 40 percent of enterprises struggle with some level of application performance as they make the shift to cloud.

Some of the signs of poor performance (and the source of users’ frustration) include Outlook responding slowly when the user tries to open messages, VoIP calls over Skype for Business having rough spots, and documents being slow to open, close and save in Word. Performance problems in the Office applications manifest in many other ways, as well.

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Source: Network World

IDG Contributor Network: Assuring the future of financial services

The financial services industry is experiencing a period of dramatic change as a result of the growth in digitalization and its effect on customer behavior. In an emerging landscape made up of cryptocurrencies, frictionless trading, and consolidated marketplace lending, traditional banks have found themselves shaken by the introduction of new, disruptive, digitally-native and mobile-first brands.

With a reputation as being somewhat conservative and slow to innovate, many financial service providers are now modernizing and improving their systems, transforming their new business models and technologies in an effort to stay ahead of the more agile challengers snapping at their heels.

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Source: Network World

Lab makes data sharing easier so medical IoT devices can be smarter

A Cambridge, Mass.,research lab is addressing some of modern medicine’s most overlooked issues with cutting-edge IoT technology and an open-source approach, weaving aging devices and deeply siloed data into an accessible web of medical information.

The Medical Device Interoperability Program, or MD PnP, in affiliation with Massachusetts General Hospital and Partners Healthcare, is a hub for research into making medical devices dramatically smarter by making it simpler for them to share the data they gather.

With more and more people being monitored by IoT devices in hospitals and monitoring themselves with Fitbits and Apple watches, there’s suddenly a lot more digital data than there was before in the world of healthcare.

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Source: Network World

Cisco, Arista settle lawsuit, refocus battle on network, data center, switching arenas

After nearly four years of slashing at each other in court with legal swords Cisco and Arista have agreed to disagree, mostly.

To settle the litigation mêlée, Arista has agreed to pay Cisco $400 million, which will result in the dismissal of all pending district court and International Trade Commission litigation between the two companies. 

For Arista the agreement should finally end any customer fear, uncertainty and doubt caused by the lawsuit.  In fact Zacks Equity Research wrote the settlement is likely to immensely benefit Arista.

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Source: Network World

Enterprises should be able to sell their excess internet capacity

Peer-to-peer exchanges of excess bandwidth could one day be commonplace, says a firm that is attempting to monetize redundant internet capacity. It wants to create a marketplace for selling internet data throughput that has been already bought by organizations, but which is often dormant during out-of-work hours — the bandwidth is customarily just lying around then, not being used.

Dove Network wants to “do to the telecom industry what Airbnb did to the hotel industry,” co-founder Douglas Schwartz told me via email.

The idea is that those with excess data capacity, such as a well-provisioned office or data center, which may not be using all of its throughput capacity all of the time — such as during the weekend — allocates that spare bandwidth to Dove’s network. Passing-by data-users, such as Internet of Things-based sensors or an individual going about business, would then grab the data it, he, or she needs; payment is then handled seamlessly through blockchain smart contracts.

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Source: Network World