I'm guessing you're as ready for a new year as I am. In fact, I'm actually looking forward to this year. The first articles talking about what to expect are appearing: a slowdown in PC sales; an increase in the use of solid state storage; virtualization's still on the top of most CIO's "hot technologies" lists; companies are emphasizing networking and unified communications including voice (VoIP); expect a heavier corporate use of Web 2.0 technologies; green IT is important; and, mobile applications will increase. Most interesting, while a slowdown in IT spending and jobs is expected with the present state of the economy, most of the gurus commenting don't expect it to be too long or too severe.
I've actually made a New Year's Resolution – I'm intent on being a better blogger. I'm planning to Blog at least once a week, and to make sure the blogs are interesting and even helpful. The blogs are a great way of keeping on top of the odd happenings in IT.
Remember we're in the midst of a ten year explosion in the growth of computer use for just about everything – home, work, communications, entertainment, etc. Make sure you're keeping up. This year is going to move fast.
Here's the schedule or you can view the complete schedule on our Website
CSTA Web sessions:
February 11, 12
March 11, 12
UITJ (Understanding IT Jobs) Web sessions:
TR Web sessions:
Keep in touch and keep up with technology!
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RFID – Increasingly Common
RFID (Radio-Frequency IDentification) is an automatic identification method which uses tags that store data which can be retrieved remotely. There are several types of tags, which are objects that can be adhered to, or implanted in, a product, animal, or person. The information stored on the tags can be transmitted using radio waves to readers which in some instances can be several feet away, beyond the reader's line of sight, and even in a different room. Radio waves can pass through walls (as all you who have ever had a teenager living with you, fully know).
Tags are identified as passive, active, or semi-active (also called semi-passive), and beacon. Passive tags require no internal power source and are only active when a reader activates them. These tags can actually work over hundreds of feet (though this is not common) and can contain security functions to control what readers can access the data. The active tags (all the others) require a power source – a small battery. Beacon tags transmit autonomously and do not respond to a reader.
Active tags are generally more reliable and can conduct a "session" with a reader and go back and forth between tag and reader. They commonly operate over hundreds of feet and have battery lives of several months and even up to 10 years. Many active tags contain sensors to sense temperature, humidity, shock/vibration, light, etc. These tags are typically standardized through ISO. The variations – semi-active and beacon – have distinct characteristics. Semi-active tags use batteries only to power the internal chip and the transmitting of information is powered by the external reader.
The beacon tags "blink" a coded identity signal at a regular pattern and require very low power. These tags can, however, create too much noise and preclude the operation of RFID in a dense population of tags.
This is not a perfect technology and in fact it has many problems.
No established standards. Multiple readers and multiple tags don't work.
RFID is easily disrupted. It's relatively easy to jam radio frequencies and stop operation.
Signals from both readers and tags can collide. This stops the identification. Tag collision is not as big a problem as reader collision.
Radio transmission can be affected by nature. Water and metal both interfere with it, and a warehouse on a lake would have a great deal of trouble using this technology.
There are many security problems:
Unauthorized reading of tags;
Tags are hard to remove, so the identification information remains accessible;
Tags can be read without being swiped or scanned, so anyone can retrieve
ID information without the owner's knowledge;
Tags can be read from greater and greater distances with improvements in the readers.
A variation of the idea is RuBee, which is short-range wireless technology that uses magnetic signals rather than radio signals. Rubee's magnetic signals are not affected by water or metal, so it works in any environment including harsh environments, and can handle networks of thousands of tags. These tags can be low in cost, near credit card thin (1.5 mm), and are fully programmable. Despite their high functionality, RuBee tags have a proven battery life of ten years or more using low-cost, coin-size lithium batteries. The RuBee protocol works with both active and passive tags. Rubee was introduced early in 2007 and could certainly affect the adoption of RFID.
Today the most common use of RFID is in supply chain management. Walmart made news in 2003 when it announced plans to implement RFID technology in its supply chain by January 2005. This meant all Walmart's suppliers had to start implanting the tags in their products. This has proven to be a huge undertaking, more expensive than planned, and way behind schedule. Other uses of RFID are growing. Passports, library products (books, cds, dvds, etc.), animals, museum exhibits, and people can all contain RFID tags. And, this is just the beginning of the technology which is still considered to be in its infancy. Walmart hasn't given up, and everyone's learning and improving the technology.
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1.Which of the following does not belong?
2.What technology is necessary to provide cloud computing services?
3.Which operating system is steadily increasing in use in the business world?
4.What's the latest definition of Microsoft Live?
5.What is mobile computing?
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New Papers – New Technical Shorts – Course Upgrades
As we promised, we did actually get some work done over the holidays. The first push was to upgrade the Papers. So much has happened lately that there was much to do. We're not quite done. Well, if we don't just say "okay, this is it for now," we'll keep upgrading them on a daily basis, so they'll definitely be finished before the first class in 2009.
We add the technical article from each TechConnections to Technical Shorts, so that's an automatic upgrade. This issue's article on RFID will be there by the time you're reading this.
The classes are always easy to upgrade because we do that almost every time we teach. We're waiting for end of the year surveys for both TR (Technical Recruiting) and UITJ (Understanding IT Jobs) finalization, but that will be soon.
And, as I mentioned earlier, I intend to be much better about blogging this year. Remember – that's where I comment on current news and happenings. A hint for you TechCheck advocates – I've beengetting questions from the blogs lately.
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Data's on the top of everyone's list of things on which to work. Every company is not only collecting more information, everyone's trying to do more with the data they've got. One of the problems that must be solved is that this mass of data is scattered over many files and databases, appears in multiple places, follows different formats, and is just plain confusing. We'll take a look at putting it together – integrating it.
data integration Data management technology and products that provide access to data from multiple, diverse sources, and automatically integrates like data from different sources across hundreds of data formats and applications, both within and outside of the enterprise. Key trends in data integration include: extreme data integration scalability, distributed architectures for data integration, virtual and federal data integration, and real-time data integration. Integration can be accomplished by creating a new database from many sources, or by transforming data from one source to the other when integrating two sources. Data hubs and ETL (Extract, Transform, Load) products also perform data integration functions.
CDI (Customer Data Integration) Software type. Application or data management software used to consolidate and manage customer data from many sources. The data includes contact details, customer valuation data, information collected from direct marketing campaigns, and information from application systems. These systems let organizations develop an enterprise-wide customer data model suitable to provide a system of record for all master customer data and support a broad range of data structures contained in multiple customer data sources. CDI is often included in CRM (Customer Relationship Management) systems.
data assurance Data assurance states that data must have: consistency; all aspects of the data must be available (also called completeness); accuracy; information must be correct (also called correctness); and currency; information must be timely (also called relevancy). Some definitions add the characteristics of: validity; information must be important to the business; and uniqueness; no duplicates are contained in the data. Data assurance is also called data quality, and data quality assurance.
data migration The process of moving data from one storage device to another, or moving data from one system to another. When data is moved to a new system, this includes converting the data to a new format. Data is migrated to new DBMSs (DataBase Management Systems), new application systems including ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) systems, and data warehouse systems. Often included in ETL (Extract, Transform, Load) and text mining software.
data scrubbing Data management function. Validating data for accuracy. Includes eliminating duplicates and inconsistencies. Often used with data warehousing, migrating legacy systems to newer technologies. Estimates state that up to 70% of the cost of implementing a data warehouse is eliminating "dirty data." Also called data cleansing and data quality assurance.
MDM (Master Data Management) Data integration concept that focuses on managing reference data, which is also called master data. Master data describes core business entities such as customers, locations, products, etc. It includes both traditional structured information and unstructured content such as documents and images. No single business application can provide all the core information on, e.g., a single customer. Information on a customer's individual purchases is captured by the sales system, credit card information is found in the billing system, and complaints and returns are in the CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system. The master data concept concentrated on a single system to build and maintain data that can then be accessed and created by the operational systems. Both CDI (Customer Data Integration) and PIM (Product Information Management) systems are vertical (industry specific) MDM systems. MDM functionality is also often included in ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning), ETL (Extract, Transform, Load), EAI (Enterprise Application Interface), and BI (Business Intelligence) systems also include MDM modules.
metadata Data about data. For example, when used with email, metadata describes who sent a message, to whom, when sent, and when received. Also used with data warehousing and typically contains basic information, summary information, and pointers to related information sources.
PIM (Product Information Management) Type of application software designed to create a single view of a product throughout an enterprise. These products store master data (or metadata) and other attribute data about products. Software first emerged in mid-2000s. Similar to CDI (Customer Data Integration), and both are included in MDM (Master Data Management).
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1.c) Mozilla does not belong. It used to be a browser, but no more. Mozilla's browser is Firefox.
2.All cloud computing services rely on virtualization to be able to provide both servers and storage to their customers. Virtualization is also an inherent part of green IT. It's a necessity in today's computing environments.
3.That would be Mac OS X. More and more companies are saying "yes" when employees want to bring their Macs to work. Now that Windows runs side by side with Mac OS X, these systems are growing in business use.
4.Microsoft Live is now defined as a social network, and now includes updated photo sharing, e-mail and instant messaging capabilities, and integrates activities from some 50 companies and Web 2.0 services — including Yahoo Inc.'s Flickr photo-sharing service, LinkedIn Corp., Photobucket Inc., Twitter and WordPress.org. You can get to it from www.live.com
5.This one depends upon the "understood" definition of mobile, not the actual definition of the word. Mobile simply means you can take it with you – and laptops can go anywhere you can. Mobile computing, however, means PDAs, smartphones, etc. – It's understood that it's referring to the little guys. Subnotebooks are included (aprox. 10"x"8"), but not anything bigger.
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