Tag Archives: work

SD-WAN a tool for combining networks, engineer says

It’s a good thing to work at a growing company. But it can be a bad thing when that growing company acquires another, and you’re the one charged with combining networks into a cohesive whole.

Ethan Banks, writing in PacketPushers, said the pressure to integrate applications and systems can be intense, leading engineers to cobble together quick-and-dirty options to keep the data flowing. But those options — say, a quick-and-dirty IPsec tunnel — can cause headaches later on.

Yet, there might be another approach to ease the pain associated with combining networks: SD-WAN. Software-defined WAN can be the glue engineers are looking for, Banks said. Among the technology’s advantages, it’s easily managed, offers redundant connectivity and it supports the Interior Gateway Protocol, including the use of a dynamic multipoint virtual private network. In addition, Banks said SD-WAN permits network segmentation and service chaining. Banks also listed some caveats, among them cost and complexity.

Still, he said, “I see SD-WAN as a way to onboard an acquired network permanently, while retaining the fast time to connect that an IPsec tunnel offers. For organizations who already have an SD-WAN solution in place, there’s not much to think about. For organizations who haven’t invested in SD-WAN yet, this might be an additional driver to do so.”

Read what else Banks has to say about using SD-WAN as a tool for combining networks.

Juniper’s embrace of automation and what to expect

Dan Conde, an analyst with Enterprise Strategy Group in Milford, Mass., said he expects Juniper Networks to use its annual conference to shed more light on its Self-Driving Networks initiative. The company last week released details about a trio of bot apps engineered to automate telemetry, auditing and peer monitoring, which will be released early next year.

Conde said he believes this is just the start. “Juniper has been an advocate of automation for a while,” he said, citing first-generation devices that relied on APIs instead of command-line interfaces to program them. “Automation is nothing new to them.”

What is new is layering intelligence to automation, giving the software the ability to adjust network performance as needed. Conde said it’s immaterial what role the intelligence is used for — whether it’s to check configuration or status. What is important is automating as many processes as possible.

“I look forward to a day when even more items get automated, and when IT pros will someday leave behind their skepticism and conservatism on automation and embrace timesavers that make their lives easier,” Conde said.

Dig deeper into Conde’s thoughts about Juniper’s strategy.

What Google’s nifty chip may say about AI

So, Google’s nifty AlphaZero computer algorithm not only learned how to play chess in four hours, it went on to demolish Stockfish — known as the highest-rated chess computer — in a match of the gadgets.

After 100 games, it was AlphaZero 28-0 over Stockfish, with 72 draws, said Brad Shimmin, research director at Current Analysis Inc. in Sterling, Va., in a recent post. But it wasn’t about the game. Instead, it was about the chips.

Google engineered AlphaZero with 5,000 AI-specific TensorFlow processing units (TPUs), which the machine used to “learn” how to play chess. The machine also had 64 second-generation TPUs that provided the necessary neural training. Once the games began, Google stripped AlphaZero down to only 4 TPUs, which is all the machine needed to defeat Stockfish.

“AlphaZero’s mastery of chess stemmed from the sheer, brute force of Google’s AI-specific TRUs,” Shimmin said, adding that each TRU can deliver up to 225,000 predictions per second. A conventional CPU, by contrast, can only churn out 5,000 predictions per second. “It is this hardware-driven ability to iteratively learn at speed that unlocks the door to AI’s potential,” Shimmin said. “That’s where we’ll see the most innovation and competition over the coming year as vendors speed up AI through purpose-build hardware.”

Check in with Shimmin to read more about what Google is trying to do.

Microsoft customers and partners envision smarter, safer, more connected societies – Transform

Organizations around the world are transforming for the digital era, changing how businesses, cities and citizens work. This new digital era will address many of the problems created in the earlier agricultural and industrial eras, making society safer, more sustainable, more efficient and more inclusive.

But an infrastructure gap is keeping this broad vision from becoming a reality. Digital transformation is happening faster than we expected — only in pockets. Microsoft and its partners seek to help city and other public infrastructures close the gaps, with advanced technologies in the cloud, data analytics, machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI).

Microsoft’s goal is to be a trusted partner to both public and private organizations in building connected societies. This summer, an IDC survey named Microsoft the top company for trust and customer satisfaction in enabling smart-city digital transformations.

Last week at a luncheon in New York City, Microsoft and executives from three organizations participating in the digital transformation shared how they are helping to close the infrastructure gap.

A photo of Arnold Meijer, TomTom's strategic business development manager.

Arnold Meijer, TomTom’s strategic business development manager, at the Building Digital Societies salon lunch. (Photo by John Brecher)

TomTom NV, based in Amsterdam, traditionally focused on providing consumers with personal navigation. Now, “the need for locations surpasses the need for navigation — it’s everywhere,” said Arnold Meijer, strategic business development manager. “Managing a fleet of connected devices or ordering a ride from your phone — these things weren’t possible five years ago. We’re turning to cloud connectivity and the Internet of Things as tools to keep our maps and locations up to date.”

Sensors from devices and vehicles on the road deliver condition and usage data essential to highway planners, infrastructure managers and fleet operators to make well informed decisions.

Autonomous driving is directly in TomTom’s sights, a way to cut down on traffic accidents, one of the top 10 causes of death worldwide, and to reduce emissions through efficient routing. “You probably won’t own a vehicle 20 years from now, and the one that picks you up won’t have a driver,” Meijer said. “If you do go out driving yourself, it will be for fun.”

With all that time freed up from driving, travelers can do something else such as relax or work. Either option presents new business opportunities for companies that offer entertainment or enable productivity for a mobile client, who is almost certainly connected to the internet. “There will be new companies coming out supporting that, and I definitely foresee Microsoft and other businesses active there,” Meijer said.

“Such greatly eased personal transport may decrease the need to live close to work or school, changing settlement patterns and reduce the societal impacts of mobility. All because we can use location- and cloud technology.” he added.

A photo of George Pitagorsky, CIO for the New York City Department of Education Office of School Support Services.

George Pitagorsky, CIO for the New York City Department of Education Office of School Support Services. (Photo by John Brecher)

The New York City Dept. of Education is using Microsoft technology extensively in a five-year, $25-million project that will tell parents their children’s whereabouts while the students are in transit, increase use of the cafeterias and provide access to information about school sports.

The city’s Office of Pupil Transportation provides rides to more than 600,000 students per day, with more than 9,000 buses and vehicles. For a preliminary version of the student-tracking system, the city has equipped its leased buses with GPS devices.

“When the driver turns on the GPS and signs in his bus, we can find out where it is at any time,” said George Pitagorsky, executive director and CIO for the department’s Office of School Support Services. If parents know what bus their child is on, they can more easily meet it at the stop or be sure to be there when the child is brought home.

A next step will be GPS units that don’t require driver activation. To let the system track not just the vehicle but its individual occupants, drivers will still need to register students into the GPS when they get on the bus.

“Biometrics like facial recognition that automate check-in when a student steps onto a bus — we’re most likely going to be there, but we’re not there yet,” Pitagorsky said.

Further out within the $25-million Illumination Program, a new bus-routing tool will replace systems developed more than 20 years ago, allowing the creation of more efficient routes, making course corrections to avoid problems, easily gathering vehicle-maintenance costs and identifying problem vehicles.

Other current projects include a smartphone app to advise students of upcoming meal choices in the school cafeterias, with an eye to increasing cafeteria use, enhancing students’ nutritional intake and offering students a voice in entree choices. The department has also created an app that displays all high school sports games, locations and scores.

A new customer-relations management app will let parents update their addresses and request special transport services on behalf of their children, with no more need to make a special visit to the school to do so. A mobile app will allow parents and authorized others to locate their children or bus, replacing the need for a phone call to the customer service unit. And business intelligence and data warehousing will get a uniform architecture, to replace the patchwork data, systems and tools now in place.

A photo of Christy Szoke CMO and co-founder of Fathym.

Christy Szoke CMO and co-founder of Fathym. (Photo by John Brecher)

Fathym, a startup in Boulder, Colorado, is directly addressing infrastructure gaps through a rapid-innovation platform intended to harmonize disparate data and apps and facilitate Internet of Things solutions.

“Too often, cities don’t have a plan worked out and are pouring millions of dollars into one solution, which is difficult to adjust to evolving needs and often leads to inaccessible, siloed data,” said co-founder and chief marketing officer Christy Szoke. “Our philosophy is to begin with a small proof of concept, then use our platform to build out a solution that is flexible to change and allows data to be accessible from multiple apps and user types.” Fathym makes extensive use of Azure services but hides that complexity from customers, she said.

To create its WeatherCloud service, Fathym combined data from roadside weather stations and sensors with available weather models to create a road weather forecast especially for drivers and maintenance providers, predicting conditions they’ll find precisely along their route.

“We’re working with at least eight data sets, all completely different in format, time intervals and spatial resolutions,” said Fathym co-founder and CEO Matt Smith. “This is hard stuff. You can’t have simplicity on the front end without a complicated back-end system, a lot of math, and a knowledgeable group of different types of engineers helping to make sense of it all.”

Despite the ease that cloud services have brought to application development, even 20 years from now foresees a need for experts to wrangle data.

“When people say, ‘the Internet of Things is here’ and ‘the robots are going to take over,’ I don’t think they have the respect they should have for how challenging it will remain to build complex apps,” Smith said.

Added Szoke, “You can’t just say ‘put an AI on it’ or ‘apply machine learning’ and expect to get useful data. You will still need creative minds, and data scientists, to understand what you’re looking at, and that will continue to be an essential industry.”

For Sale – Macbook Pro Retina 13, 2015, i5, 8GB, 128GB

I’m possibly looking to switch to a Surface Pro for work, but just weighing up boot camp versus a Windows 10 device.

I can post full pictures once I’m home tonight.

It’s the 2015 model, Core i5, 8GB RAM and 128GB SSD. It’s running High Sierra and had 72 battery cycles (around 97% of full design capacity on last check).

It’s all boxed, in excellent condition. It was bought from John Lewis as a Xmas present in 2015, I’m not sure on warranty status.

Possibly open for trades (either Surface Pro or Surface Book), but really just testing the water.

Price and currency: 750
Delivery: Delivery cost is included within my country
Payment method: BT or Paypal
Location: Swindon
Advertised elsewhere?: Not advertised elsewhere
Prefer goods collected?: I have no preference

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For Sale – Mini pc minx neo z83

Hi up for sale is a mini pc I bought 7 months ago for browsing etc and doing office work etc but now I have a htpc gaming pc so no need for this hence the sale . I bought this of Amazon and I will paste the detail from Amazon below it comes with everything boxed in very good condition .

Description
Affordable, Versatile Mini PC with Windows 10 Pro (64-bit) Pre-installed.
NEO Z83-4 Pro is a cost-efficient, Intel-powered, versatile fanless Mini PC designed for office operation and industrial application; an ideal Digital Signage, POS and Thin Client solution.
With Windows 10 Pro pre-installed, set up is effortless and NEO Z83-4 Pro is ready to run straight out of the box.

Produce Stunning Visuals, Native 4K Output & Multi-Display Ready.
NEO Z83-4 Pro has the power to produce stunning visuals, and supports 4K video playback and streaming.
With HDMI and Mini DisplayPort outputs available, NEO Z83-4 Pro is Multi-Display Ready (support up to two displays).

Fanless Passive Cooling Design. Silent Solution That’s Ultra Energy-Efficient.
The advanced fanless passive cooling design maximizes heat dissipation, meaning all operations can be conducted in absolute silence.
NEO Z83-4 Pro excludes any moving parts, it’s 100% solid state components provide longer product life.

Tiny Form Factor Equipped with Full Range of Connectivity Options.
NEO Z83-4 Pro keeps a low profile without sacrificing any performance, delivering a desktop experience in a fraction of the size and weight.
Plus, NEO Z83-4 Pro includes a vast array of connectivity options – Dual-Band 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Gigabit Ethernet Port, Bluetooth 4.2, HDMI, Mini DisplayPort, USB 3.0 and more.

Ideal for Industrial Applications, Auto Power-On Option. VESA Mount included.
An auto power-on option can be enabled within NEO Z83-4 Pro’s BIOS menu, removing the need to manually power back on after a power outage.
NEO Z83-4 Pro can be easily mounted to a VESA compatible monitor, no tools are required for mounting once the included bracket has been installed.
NEO Z83-4 Pro’s VESA Mount allows full access to all ports and power button, and does not affect the Wi-Fi or Bluetooth performance.

Price and currency: £100
Delivery: Delivery cost is not included
Payment method: Bank transfer
Location: London
Advertised elsewhere?: Not advertised elsewhere
Prefer goods collected?: I have no preference

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By replying to this thread you agree to abide by the trading rules detailed here.
Please be advised, all buyers and sellers should satisfy themselves that the other party is genuine by providing the following via private conversation to each other after negotiations are complete and prior to dispatching goods and making payment:

  • Landline telephone number. Make a call to check out the area code and number are correct, too
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DO NOT proceed with a deal until you are completely satisfied with all details being correct. It’s in your best interest to check out these details yourself.

For Sale – Thinkstation Pc with GTX1050

Hi,

I don’t get much use out of this any longer since changing job roles at work, i spend most of my day on a pc now, so the last thing i want in the evening is to be sat at a desk (infact typing this is the first time it has been on since the end of October).
so up for sale is my Thinkstation E20 with a Xeon X3470 quad core cpu, 16GB DDR3 ram, GTX 1050 2gb Graphics card, and a 2TB storage drive.

all you need to add is an SSD and you have a great machine.

i’ve been playing Forza 7 on low, FIFA 18, Just Cause 3, BF1 etc play fine on Medium or better at 1080p.

It’s a great machine, and a beast for things like Photoshop etc.

i’m looking for £200.00 which includes insured delivery (you will need to allow me a few days to find a suitable box)

Price and currency: 200.00
Delivery: Delivery cost is included within my country
Payment method: BACS
Location: Stoke-on-Trent
Advertised elsewhere?: Not advertised elsewhere
Prefer goods collected?: I have no preference

______________________________________________________
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By replying to this thread you agree to abide by the trading rules detailed here.
Please be advised, all buyers and sellers should satisfy themselves that the other party is genuine by providing the following via private conversation to each other after negotiations are complete and prior to dispatching goods and making payment:

  • Landline telephone number. Make a call to check out the area code and number are correct, too
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For Sale – 2 x Sticks of Corsair 4GB DDR3 1600mhz RAM. 2GB stick also.

Couple of Corsair Vengeance Sticks. Both work fine, and total 8GB.

I also have a 2GB stick I can include for a bit more if you like it’s a Corsair XMS3 stick, and is also 1600mhz.

Looking for 35 for the two sticks or 40 for all three.

Can post pics if required.

Thanks.

Price and currency: 35
Delivery: Delivery cost is not included
Payment method: Paypal friends.
Location: St Austell
Advertised elsewhere?: Not advertised elsewhere
Prefer goods collected?: I have no preference

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By replying to this thread you agree to abide by the trading rules detailed here.
Please be advised, all buyers and sellers should satisfy themselves that the other party is genuine by providing the following via private conversation to each other after negotiations are complete and prior to dispatching goods and making payment:

  • Landline telephone number. Make a call to check out the area code and number are correct, too
  • Name and address including postcode
  • Valid e-mail address

DO NOT proceed with a deal until you are completely satisfied with all details being correct. It’s in your best interest to check out these details yourself.

For Sale – 2 x Sticks of Corsair 4GB DDR3 1600mhz RAM. 2GB stick also.

Couple of Corsair Vengeance Sticks. Both work fine, and total 8GB.

I also have a 2GB stick I can include for a bit more if you like it’s a Corsair XMS3 stick, and is also 1600mhz.

Looking for 35 for the two sticks or 40 for all three.

Can post pics if required.

Thanks.

Price and currency: 35
Delivery: Delivery cost is not included
Payment method: Paypal friends.
Location: St Austell
Advertised elsewhere?: Not advertised elsewhere
Prefer goods collected?: I have no preference

______________________________________________________
This message is automatically inserted in all classifieds forum threads.
By replying to this thread you agree to abide by the trading rules detailed here.
Please be advised, all buyers and sellers should satisfy themselves that the other party is genuine by providing the following via private conversation to each other after negotiations are complete and prior to dispatching goods and making payment:

  • Landline telephone number. Make a call to check out the area code and number are correct, too
  • Name and address including postcode
  • Valid e-mail address

DO NOT proceed with a deal until you are completely satisfied with all details being correct. It’s in your best interest to check out these details yourself.

Minecraft: Education Edition reaches milestone of 2 million users and releases new Hour of Code tutorial |

Three years ago, Minecraft became a part of the Microsoft family and my team began our work to extend Minecraft’s potential in classrooms around the world. Flash forward to today – one year after the release of Minecraft: Education Edition – and I’m thrilled to share that we’re continuing to see tremendous momentum with more than 2 million licensed users in 115 countries around the world and more than 250 educator-created lesson plans in our community.

We’ve seen firsthand how Minecraft’s open sandbox environment ignites students’ innate creativity and makes learning fun and collaborative. Educators are teaching a wide variety of subjects with Minecraft: Education Edition, and we’ve seen particularly exciting results when Minecraft is used to teach Computer Science. Though many don’t realize it, coding is in fact one of the most creative activities a student can do, building something with no limitations but his or her own creativity. And research continues to show that creativity, collaboration and coding are all critical skills for success in the modern workplace.

As part of Microsoft’s continued commitment to empower students with these skills, we’ve partnered with Code.org for the past two years to offer educators and students a free Hour of Code tutorial using Minecraft. The results are far beyond anything we could have imagined.

To date, nearly 70 million Minecraft Hour of Code sessions have introduced the basics of coding to people around the world, joining the global movement. Today, I’m excited to announce that we have built a new Minecraft Hour of Code tutorial called Minecraft: Hero’s Journey.

Available at Code.org/Minecraft today, Hero’s Journey introduces a fun character called the Agent and 12 new challenges that teach core coding concepts like loops, debugging, and functions. It’s free and playable across iOS, Android and Windows platforms. Upon completing the tutorial, students can import their code into Minecraft: Education Edition for the first time ever, bringing their work to life in the game, or share their work via email, text message or social media. Learn more about the tutorial at education.minecraft.net/hour-of-code.

Above: Loops enable players to repeat a set of instructions until a certain condition has been reached.

I hope you’ll join us in building a global appreciation for Computer Science by visiting Code.org today to try the tutorial and plan your very own Hour of Code! And please share your experience on Facebook or Twitter using: #Minecraft #Hourofcode to spread the excitement around the globe during Computer Science Education Week.

Each day I come into the office, I am inspired by the stories and videos we receive from our Minecraft: Education Edition community and innovative educators like Melissa Wrenchey, Doug Bergman and Jeff Gearhart who are using computer science to inspire the next generation of creators, innovators and leaders.

Thank you to everyone who made this first year such a success. Our continued growth is only possible with feedback and ideas from you – the passionate educators around the world who are changing education as we know it. Keep it coming!