Jun 30, 2017

[session] AI-Enabled Enterprise | @CloudExpo @ReneBuest #AI #ML #DX #SmartCities

The Internet giants are fully embracing AI. All the services they offer to their customers are aimed at drawing a map of the world with the data they get. The AIs from these companies are used to build disruptive approaches that cannot be used by established enterprises, which are threatened by these disruptions. However, most leaders underestimate the effect this will have on their businesses. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Rene Buest, Director Market Research & Technology Evangelism at Arago, will discuss the digital enterprise evolution in the context of artificial intelligence.

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[slides] #IoT Security Certifications | @ThingsExpo @PECB #DX #SmartCities

In his session at @ThingsExpo, Eric Lachapelle, CEO of the Professional Evaluation and Certification Board (PECB), provided an overview of various initiatives to certify the security of connected devices and future trends in ensuring public trust of IoT. Eric Lachapelle is the Chief Executive Officer of the Professional Evaluation and Certification Board (PECB), an international certification body. His role is to help companies and individuals to achieve professional, accredited and worldwide recognized certification against various international standards. He also has extensive experience as a trainer and an educator in the fields of Information Security, Risk Management and IT. Throughout his career, he has worked in North America, Latin America and Asia with individuals and various companies of all sizes.

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Webinar Recap: Plain Language Action and Information Network (PLAIN) June Meeting

This month’s Plain Language of Community Practice meeting featured Katherine Spivey’s presentation, Plain Language Spectrum: Every Step Counts! In this highly useful DigitalGov University (DGU) webinar, she explains how you can move forward with plain language even when you don’t have permission to edit copy, followed by a half hour Q & A session.

Many people don’t get plain language (also known as plain communication or plain writing) right the very first time, but through practice, can gain clarity and improve their plain language skills. For newbies who may not feel 100 percent sure about diving into this concept, the guidelines below are helpful, but optional; you can visit PlainLanguage.gov to find other ways to apply plain language to your specific content.

What exactly is plain language?

Plain language has three basic elements—they need to find it easily, understand it the first time they hear or read it, and be able to use what they’ve learned to meet their needs.

In content presentation, the audience is often faced with a “big wall of words” or content with several large paragraphs, no headers, and nothing to break up the overabundance of text. As writers and editors for content, we don’t always have permission to edit copy. However, this shouldn’t stop one from creating a visually aesthetic and easy-to-understand medium.

A close up of the dictionary definition of the word, simplicity.

Devonyu/iStock/Thinkstock

How do I start?

Spivey notes that it’s difficult to read across large blocks of text, particularly electronically, as it is easy to skip a line and get confused. In addition, if it’s too verbose, you will lose what the sentence is trying to say, when the ultimate goal is for readers to understand what you’re saying.

She suggests that those unfamiliar with plain language take baby steps before diving in entirely on the more advanced side of the plain language spectrum. Such steps could include things like:

  • Break it up
    Break up long paragraphs with whitespace and bulleted lists. Add headers to guide users and define sections (e.g., Key Steps, Introduction, Overview). Use shorter, more concise sentences; add periods at natural talking points within a narrative or presentation.
  • Apply formatting
    Where appropriate, you can italicize text or make it bold, or change text color, typeface (or font family), or size.
  • Introduce pronouns
    This can be a hard sell in government, but can make it easier for people to follow what you’re saying. People are beginning to expect this in web writing as third-person sounds off-putting and standoffish; instead, say: our, we, us, they, you, or your agency.
  • Change an inappropriately passive voice to active voice
    Passive voice leaves the actor unknown. For instance, “Mistakes were made” is passive because the statement doesn’t explain who made the mistake. English sentences rely on a subject, a verb, and an object. If you invert this order, it forces the reader to do more unnecessary work trying to understand it. A great way to tell if a sentence is passive is to add “by zombies” at the end. If it makes sense, you have probably used passive voice.

To sum it all up, use white space, formatting, pronouns, and active voice to make it easier for readers to find out what you want them to do.

Until we get the capability to turn everything into plain language with the click of a button, consider what the reader needs to know and how you can make it easier to read, scan, and do. Every step that you take towards changing something into plain language counts.

Q&A Session

The Question and Answer portion covers the last half hour of the meeting. In it, Spivey addressed a number of questions and comments from participants that included guidance on:

  • using second-person pronouns for gender-neutral language;
  • the process of making plain language clearer and how to approach working on plain language content reviews (solo, or as a team);
  • getting buy-in for using plain language from your editor and/or supervisor;
  • plain language resources and groups, such as:
  • the adoption of plain language principles by legal staff and offices in the federal government;
  • “before and after” examples on PlainLanguage.gov, CenterForPlainLanguage.org;
  • examples of plain language success stories included the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Department of Agriculture (USDA), and, in general, medical and health literacy.

Review just the Q&A section on YouTube, or the full 50-minute webinar below. If you have questions about plain language or the presentation, you can email Katherine Spivey.

All references to specific brands and/or companies are used only for illustrative purposes and do not imply endorsement by the U.S. federal government or any federal government agency.

Read other DigitalGov posts about Plain Language. Learn more about DigitalGov University and how you can work with the team to set up an online or in-person event or training session. 

If you have a .gov or .mil email address, consider joining one of our Communities, such as the Plain Language Community of Practice, the Web Content Managers Forum, the Multilingual Digital Group, or the Web Content Managers Forum.


by Toni Bonitto via DigitalGov

USD/CAD Canadian Dollar Higher After Steady Growth And Central Bank Survey

USD/CAD Canadian Dollar Higher After Steady Growth And Central Bank Survey
MarketPulse (blog) - 6 hours ago
The Canadian dollar continued to rally versus the US dollar after the release of the gross domestic product (GDP) earlier today showed a monthly gain of 0.2 percent in line with expectations.

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USD/CAD Canadian Dollar Higher After Steady Growth And Central Bank Survey

Dreamscape to merge with Singapore hosting provider in regional expansion

Australian hosting provider Dreamscape Networks is merging with ... For instance, he noted that domain name hosting markets in emerging countries ...
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[video] #DevOps Five Years Later at @DevOpsSummit | @AndiMann #AI #DX #Serverless #Monitoring

After more than five years of DevOps, definitions are evolving, boundaries are expanding, ‘unicorns’ are no longer rare, enterprises are on board, and pundits are moving on. Can we now look at an evolution of DevOps? Should we? Is the foundation of DevOps ‘done’, or is there still too much left to do? What is mature, and what is still missing? What does the next 5 years of DevOps look like? In this Power Panel at DevOps Summit, moderated by DevOps Summit Conference Chair Andi Mann, panelists looked back at what DevOps has become, and forward at what it might create next.

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[session] AI: Is Winter Coming? | @CloudExpo @GHuff #AI #ML #DX #ArtificialIntelligence

Artificial intelligence, machine learning, neural networks. We’re in the midst of a wave of excitement around AI such as hasn’t been seen for a few decades. But those previous periods of inflated expectations led to troughs of disappointment. Will this time be different? Most likely. Applications of AI such as predictive analytics are already decreasing costs and improving reliability of industrial machinery. Furthermore, the funding and research going into AI now comes from a wide range of commercial firms. It’s not solely the province of relatively narrow government and academic research. That said, it’s easy to look at wins in specific domains and generalize to an overly optimistic view of AI writ large.

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VA Innovators Network Program: Ahead of the Curve in Healthcare Innovation

VA Innovators Network Program Selected as FedHealth IT Innovation Award Winner

This month, FedHealth IT announced that the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Innovators Network Program was selected as a 2017 recipient of the FedHealthIT Innovation Award.

VA Innovators Network accepts the FedHealthIT Award (June 2017)

FedHealth IT recognized 25 Federal Health programs that have demonstrated exceptional performance as a result of their willingness to take risks and deliver real and measurable results. Nominated and selected by peers, all recipient programs have shown an extraordinary commitment to driving innovative ideas in effort to enhance federal programming for Department of Veterans Affairs, Military Health, Health and Human Services, and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

Instituted in 2015, the VA Innovators Network grew out of VA Center for Innovation and was shaped by and built in response to VA employees’ desire for a more networked organization that supports team innovation. The VA Innovators Network provides a mechanism for employees to see and solve problems at the facility level. Through investing in and developing VA employees, the network influences how VA offers better care and services to Veterans and their families. The key drivers within the Network are the Innovation Specialists, providing mentorship and guiding employees through innovation processes.

Andrea Ippolito, VA Innovators Network Lead, kicks off an innovation “boot camp”. The event helps VA implement innovative programs to care for Veterans.

To fulfill its mission, VA Innovators Network rests on three primary goals:

  • Serves as a teaching and training program for innovation-related competencies like human-centered design, value modeling and measurement, entrepreneurial skills, and project implementation and sustainability.
  • Provides a structure that allows ideas to be developed, refined, and tested via three tiers of evidence-required investment funding through the Spark-Seed-Spread Innovation Funding Program.
  • Creates a feeder into the Diffusion of Excellence Initiative to form an embedded innovation cohort across VA sites to accelerate the development and sharing of best practice innovations across the VA.

In only its second year of existence, the VA Innovators Network already includes 22 VA Medical Centers across the country with plans to expand further in the coming year. To date, frontline VA employees have designed, tested, or launched more than 35 Veteran-centric innovations.

2016 VA Innovators Network Team

The VA Innovators Network’s accomplishments were recognized on June 6th, 2017 at the 3rd Annual FedHealth IT Innovation Awards at the Woolly Mammoth Theatre in Washington, D.C. More than 250 federal health leaders from the government and industry convened to recognize the VA Innovators Network, along with the teams behind the 25 extraordinary Federal Health programs.

On August 8th, we will be holding the VA Innovation Demo Day featuring over 100 innovations aimed at better serving Veterans and their families. If you are interested in attending demo day, please sign-up with the VA Innovators Network listserve here and you’ll be contacted with more information.

Learn more about the VA Innovators Network: here and here.

Learn more about VA Center for Innovation: here.

This post was originally published on the VA Center for Innovation (VACI) blog on Medium.


by Toni Bonitto via DigitalGov

[video] #DevOps Patterns and Anti-Patterns with @AndiMann | @DevOpsSummit #Serverless #Microservices

In the world of DevOps there are ‘known good practices’ – aka ‘patterns’ – and ‘known bad practices’ – aka ‘anti-patterns.' Many of these patterns and anti-patterns have been developed from real world experience, especially by the early adopters of DevOps theory; but many are more feasible in theory than in practice, especially for more recent entrants to the DevOps scene. In this power panel at @DevOpsSummit at 18th Cloud Expo, moderated by DevOps Conference Chair Andi Mann, panelists discussed the patterns and anti-patterns of DevOps, and what it means to ‘do the right thing’ in a DevOps way, but in the real world.

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Canadian dollar notches a nine-month high on higher oil prices, domestic growth

Canadian dollar notches a nine-month high on higher oil prices, domestic growth
BNN - 1 hour ago
TORONTO - The Canadian dollar strengthened on Friday to a 9-month high against its U.S. counterpart, boosted by higher oil prices and domestic growth which supported the Bank of Canada's more hawkish stance.

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Canadian dollar notches a nine-month high on higher oil prices, domestic growth

[session] Open Analytics | @CloudExpo @ProgressSW #AI #ML #DX #BigData #Analytics

Cloud applications are seeing a deluge of requests to support the exploding advanced analytics market. “Open analytics” is the emerging strategy to deliver that data through an open data access layer, in the cloud, to be directly consumed by external analytics tools and popular programming languages. An increasing number of data engineers and data scientists use a variety of platforms and advanced analytics languages such as SAS, R, Python and Java, as well as frameworks such as Hadoop and Spark. Cloud APIs are commonly designed to support application integration representing a disconnect with the analytics ecosystem. These combined trends create significant demand for a “bring-your-own-analytics” (BYOA) capability for cloud applications.

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Web Hosting and Domain Registration(dotcom)

Web Hosting and Domain Registration(dotcom) Are you looking where you will publish your website? I am offering reliable web host service and ...
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[video] #DevOps and #DigitalTransformation | @DevOpsSummit @AndiMann #Serverless #DX

New competitors, disruptive technologies, and growing expectations are pushing every business to both adopt and deliver new digital services. This ‘Digital Transformation’ demands rapid delivery and continuous iteration of new competitive services via multiple channels, which in turn demands new service delivery techniques – including DevOps. In this power panel at @DevOpsSummit 20th Cloud Expo, moderated by DevOps Conference Co-Chair Andi Mann, panelists examined how DevOps helps to meet the demands of Digital Transformation – including accelerating application delivery, closing feedback loops, enabling multi-channel delivery, empowering collaborative decisions, improving user experience, and ultimately meeting (and exceeding) business goals.

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[video] Three Pillars of #DevOps | @DevOpsSummit @AndiMann #DX #Serverless #Monitoring

While DevOps most critically and famously fosters collaboration, communication, and integration through cultural change, culture is more of an output than an input. In order to actively drive cultural evolution, organizations must make substantial organizational and process changes, and adopt new technologies, to encourage a DevOps culture. Moderated by Andi Mann, panelists discussed how to balance these three pillars of DevOps, where to focus attention (and resources), where organizations might slip up with the wrong focus, how to manage change and risk in all three areas, what is possible and what is not, where to start, and especially how new structures, processes, and technologies can help drive a new DevOps culture.

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Loonie briefly rises above 77 cents US as TSX plunges

Loonie briefly rises above 77 cents US as TSX plunges
Toronto Star - 17 hours ago
The Canadian dollar traded as high as 77.01 about mid-morning before easing back to 76.99 cents U.S., up from an average value of 76.57 cents U.S.

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Loonie briefly rises above 77 cents US as TSX plunges

Jun 29, 2017

2017 @DevOpsSummit Tracks | #DevOps #APM #Serverless #AI #Monitoring

@DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo taking place Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center, Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with the 21st International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long development cycles that produce software that is obsolete at launch. DevOps may be disruptive, but it is essential.

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[video] @Cloudistics Public Cloud Benefits | @CloudExpo #AI #ML #DX #SDN #DataCenter

You know you need the cloud, but you’re hesitant to simply dump everything at Amazon since you know that not all workloads are suitable for cloud. You know that you want the kind of ease of use and scalability that you get with public cloud, but your applications are architected in a way that makes the public cloud a non-starter. You’re looking at private cloud solutions based on hyperconverged infrastructure, but you’re concerned with the limits inherent in those technologies.

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Canadian dollar posts nears five-month high as yield jump pressures short-sellers

Canadian dollar posts nears five-month high as yield jump pressures short-sellers
Reuters Canada - 43 minutes ago
TORONTO (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar strengthened to a nearly five-month high against its U.S. counterpart on Thursday, as higher domestic yields pressured investors that had bet against the currency and oil prices rose.

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Canadian dollar posts nears five-month high as yield jump pressures short-sellers

Explosion of #IoT Data | @ThingsExpo @Tibco #AI #IIoT #M2M #DX #SmartCities #BigData

The Internet of Things (IoT) has evolved quite rapidly, especially if you consider how long it took for little packet-switching networks like ARPANET to morph into today’s nearly ubiquitous internet. Our nascent IoT ecosystem is already populated by billions of sensors and connected devices, hundreds of millions of servers, and thousands of hybrid clouds serving billions of people… all of them perpetually producing and/or consuming data in an explosion of information.

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Canadian dollar briefly nears 77 cents US, TSX slides

Canadian dollar briefly nears 77 cents US, TSX slides
CTV News - 16 minutes ago
TORONTO -- The Canadian dollar continued to climb today as speculation grew that the Bank of Canada is going to raise its key interest rate.

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Canadian dollar briefly nears 77 cents US, TSX slides

‘Cybersecuring’ the Internet of Things

I recently had the chance to talk with the legendary Vint Cerf, one of the founding fathers of the internet. We had a wide-ranging discussion about the past, present and future of the internet, network security and what it would take to successfully, safely and reliably merge the digital and physical worlds, a concept known as the “Internet of Things,” or IoT.

As its name suggests, the internet of things will connect all kinds of things, bringing us a wealth of data about, well, everything that we can use to improve our lives. For example, internet-connected smart parking meters are helping people find available parking spaces, saving time, fuel and probably more than a few relationships. People are using fitness trackers to log their daily activity and achieve their fitness goals, making them healthier and happier. And technologies that promise to make travel safer and more convenient, such as self-driving cars and highway sensors that detect and adapt to real-time road conditions, are quickly moving from concept to reality.

But with all the exciting new functionality and features that IoT will grant, it will also bring a host of new cybersecurity risks and challenges. Some of these risks could be seen as relatively innocuous. For instance, hackers could virtually raid your internet-connected refrigerator and instruct it to order too much milk as a prank. Other risks are far more serious, such as hackers being able to take control of your self-driving vehicle or medical device.

The point is, the more devices that are connected to the internet, the more potential weak spots there are for hackers to exploit.

An illustration of various connected items.

Credit: chesky/fotolia.com

Because of this, it’s really important that the data IoT systems generate and disseminate be protected against unauthorized access, just as you would protect any sensitive system. Except in limited cases, even authorized users shouldn’t be able to change this data. And, while some data should be public so that people can slice it and dice it in different ways for research purposes—for instance, data on traffic patterns or pollution—some data, such as medical and genetic information, needs to be kept confidential, so we’ll need layers of permissions. As we become more dependent on these connected devices, ensuring their availability can also be critical. Vital networks that control the power grid or the access to health records should never go down—even for a second. And if they do, we need to be able to get them back up and running quickly.

My work on cybersecurity at NIST has made clear that standards and best practices are critical to keeping computer systems secure and creating trust in these systems. Similarly, cybersecurity standards and best practices can provide industry with the tools they need to build a secure and interoperable IoT. Today, even though standards and best practices can be used to support IoT systems, manufacturers, service providers and system developers are still working toward developing consensus security standards. Unless they can reach a consensus, we could end up with a patchwork of protections in which some IoT systems are more secure than others, and many such systems will not be adequately protected against cyberattacks.

NIST’s Cybersecurity for IoT Program is designed to cultivate trust in IoT and promote U.S. leadership in this space. The researchers in this program work with industry to produce definitions, reference data, guidance and best practices, as well as perform research and coordinate standards within and across sectors in the digital economy.

For example, one of the things we’re doing is investigating cryptographic algorithms that can be used to secure devices that are far more constrained than your average desktop computer in terms of memory or power capacity. These “constrained” devices, which include radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags and wireless sensors, are used in a variety of applications such as tracking of physical assets—be they packaged foods or automobile parts—and monitoring of physical structures such as roads, bridges and buildings.

Also, in collaboration with the health care community and medical device manufacturers, NIST’s National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence (NCCoE) recently developed guidance and a demonstration on securing wireless infusion pumps, which deliver fluids, medication or nutrients intravenously into a patient’s bloodstream. Being connected to a computer network enables these devices to collect data about patients that can be shared and monitored by several medical practitioners at the same time. Being on the network also makes it easier to update them with new dosing instructions or operating software. The work of NIST computer scientists has demonstrated how standards-based, commercially available cybersecurity technologies can be used to better protect infusion pumps and the networks they are connected to.

Such efforts are paving the way toward more secure IoT devices in the future. Ultimately, only by adopting a common set of standards and best practices will the manufacturers of IoT systems, along with service providers and system developers, to be able to bring a high level of security for IoT devices and protect the data they generate, making us all safer in the process.

 

Donna Dodson is the Chief Cybersecurity Advisor for the NIST Information Technology Laboratory and Director of the National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence (NCCoE).

This post was originally published on Taking Measure, the official blog of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).


by Toni Bonitto via DigitalGov

CA Named “Platinum Sponsor” of @CloudExpo | @CAinc #AI #DX #API #DevOps #Serverless #Monitoring

SYS-CON Events announced today that CA Technologies has been named "Platinum Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. CA Technologies helps customers succeed in a future where every business - from apparel to energy - is being rewritten by software. From planning to development to management to security, CA creates software that fuels transformation for companies in the application economy. With CA software at the center of their IT strategy, organizations can leverage the technology that changes the way we live - from the data center to the mobile device. CA's software and solutions help customers thrive in the new application economy by delivering the means to deploy, monitor and secure their applications and infrastructure.

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Canadian dollar briefly rises above 77 cents US, TSX index plunges

Canadian dollar briefly rises above 77 cents US, TSX index plunges
CTV News - 14 minutes ago
TORONTO - The loonie briefly rose above 77 cents US this morning for the first time since February amid growing expectations that the Bank of Canada is going to raise its key interest rate.

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Canadian dollar briefly rises above 77 cents US, TSX index plunges

The Human Body and Data Center Automation - Part 3 | @CloudExpo #AI #ML #IoT #M2M #Sensors #DataCenter

Human body is the most complex machine ever created! With a complex network of interconnected organs, millions of cells and the most advanced processor, human body is the most automated system in this planet. In this article, we will draw comparisons between working of a human body to that of a data center. We will draw parallels between human body automation to data center automation and explain different levels of automation we need to drive in data centers. This article is divided into 4 parts covering each of body main functions and drawing parallels on automation. This is 3rd article in the human body series, please go to http://ashishnanjiani.ulitzer.com or http://ashishnanjiani.com

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IBM Named "Diamond Sponsor" of @CloudExpo | @IBMcloud #AI #ML #DX #DigitalTransformation

SYS-CON Events announced today that IBM has been named “Diamond Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st Cloud Expo, which will take place on October 31 through November 2nd 2017 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, California.

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Can Falling Prices of the Cloud Make Hosted Solutions Irrelevant? | @CloudExpo #Cloud #DataCenter

The margins of cloud products like virtual machines are still in the 50% range. In essence, price drops are going to be a regular feature for the foreseeable future. This begets the question - are hosted solutions becoming irrelevant today? Boston-based market research firm, 451 Research, has been publishing their ‘Cloud Price Index' for a few years now. The quarterly study looks into the pricing of various offerings in the cloud market to understand the shifting dynamics in the public, private and hybrid cloud market. According to Dr. Owen Rogers from 451 Research, the approach here is similar to how inflation is calculated - the price of a distributed sample of products from the market are analyzed periodically to ascertain the rise or drop in the prices of the various cloud offerings.

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[slides] Is SaaS Dead? | @CloudExpo @stackArmor #SaaS #Cloud #DevOps #DX

Both SaaS vendors and SaaS buyers are going “all-in” to hyperscale IaaS platforms such as AWS, which is disrupting the SaaS value proposition. Why should the enterprise SaaS consumer pay for the SaaS service if their data is resident in adjacent AWS S3 buckets? If both SaaS sellers and buyers are using the same cloud tools, automation and pay-per-transaction model offered by IaaS platforms, then why not host the “shrink-wrapped” software in the customers’ cloud? Further, serverless computing, cloud marketplaces and DevOps are changing the economics of hosting and delivering software.

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[slides] Enterprise Agile Transformation | @DevOpsSummit @Scrumdotorg #Scrum #AI #DevOps

It is ironic, but perhaps not unexpected, that many organizations who want the benefits of using an Agile approach to deliver software use a waterfall approach to adopting Agile practices: they form plans, they set milestones, and they measure progress by how many teams they have engaged. Old habits die hard, but like most waterfall software projects, most waterfall-style Agile adoption efforts fail to produce the results desired. The problem is that to get the results they want, they have to change their culture and cultures are very hard to change. To paraphrase Peter Drucker, "culture eats Agile for breakfast." Successful approaches are opportunistic and leverage the power of self-organization to achieve lasting change.

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[slides] Major #Serverless Shift | @CloudExpo @LinuxAcademyCOM #AWS #Docker #Kubernetes

In 2014, Amazon announced a new form of compute called Lambda. We didn't know it at the time, but this represented a fundamental shift in what we expect from cloud computing. Now, all of the major cloud computing vendors want to take part in this disruptive technology. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Doug Vanderweide, an instructor at Linux Academy, discussed why major players like AWS, Microsoft Azure, IBM Bluemix, and Google Cloud Platform are all trying to sidestep VMs and containers with heavy investments in serverless computing, when most of the industry has its eyes on Docker and containers.

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IaC App Delivery Lifecycle | @CloudExpo @Tasktop #IaC #DevOps #API #DX

As more technologies become software-defined, their adoption demands a significant shift in thinking about how a business organizes its value stream. This shift may be difficult, but it enables you to anticipate changes and position your business to react when software-defined technologies emerge. Recently a new set of tools and practices has emerged to create and manage environments. Known as Infrastructure as Code (IaC), it enables infrastructure management through a software-defined layer.

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Jun 28, 2017

[video] @Loom_Systems AI Log Analysis | @CloudExpo #AI #ML #DX #Monitoring #DigitalTransformation

"Loom is applying artificial intelligence and machine learning into the entire log analysis process, from start to finish and at the end you will get a human touch,” explained Sabo Taylor Diab, Vice President, Marketing at Loom Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.

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Renminbi's share of global payments still trails Canadian dollar

Renminbi's share of global payments still trails Canadian dollar
Financial Times - 39 minutes ago
The renminbi's flagging international prominence appears to have found a floor, but there are few signs of things picking back up for the currency based on the latest data from Swift.

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Renminbi's share of global payments still trails Canadian dollar

Canadian dollar surges to four-month high; TSX closes 74 points higher

Canadian dollar surges to four-month high; TSX closes 74 points higher
Times Colonist - 11 minutes ago
TORONTO - The Canadian dollar surged to a four-month high today amid a hawkish tone on interest rates by Bank of Canada governor Stephen Poloz.

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Canadian dollar surges to four-month high; TSX closes 74 points higher

Announcing @Conference_Guru Named “Media Sponsor” of @CloudExpo | #IoT #Cloud #DevOps

SYS-CON Events announced today that Conference Guru has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. A valuable conference experience generates new contacts, sales leads, potential strategic partners and potential investors; helps gather competitive intelligence and even provides inspiration for new products and services. Conference Guru works with conference organizers to pass great deals to great conferences, helping you discover new conferences and increase your return on investment.

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Hack-to-Learn at the Library of Congress

When hosting workshops, such as Software Carpentry, or events, such as Collections As Data, our National Digital Initiatives team made a discovery—there is an appetite among librarians for hands-on computational experience. That’s why we created an inclusive hackathon, or a “hack-to-learn,” taking advantage of the skills librarians already have and pairing them with programmers to mine digital collections.

Hack-to-Learn took place on May 16-17 in partnership with George Mason and George Washington University Libraries. Over the two days, 61 attendees used low or no-cost computational tools to explore four library collection as data sets. You can see the full schedule here.

Day two of the workshop took place at George Washington University Libraries. Here, George Oberle III, History Librarian at George Mason University, gives a Carto tutorial. Photo by Justin Littman, event organizer.

The Data Sets

The meat of this event was our ability to provide library collections as data to explore, and with concerted effort we were able to make a diverse set available and accessible.

In the spring, the Library of Congress released 25 million of its MARC records for free bulk download. Some have already been working with the data – Ben Schmidt was able to join us on day one to present his visual hacking history of MARC cataloging and Matt Miller made a list of 9 million unique titles. We thought these cataloging records would also be a great collection for hack-to-learn attendees because the format is well-structured and familiar for librarians.

The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers Project at George Washington University shared its “My Day” collection – Roosevelt’s daily syndicated newspaper column and the closest thing we have to her diary. George Washington University Libraries contributed their Tumblr End of Term Archive- text and metadata from 72 federal Tumblr blogs harvested as part of the End of Term Archive project.

Topic modelling in MALLET with the Eleanor Roosevelt “My Day” collection. MALLET generates a list of topics from a corpus and keywords composing those topics. An attendee suggested it would be a useful method for generating research topics for students (and we agree!).

As excitement for hack-to-learn grew, the Smithsonian joined the fun by providing their Phyllis Diller Gag file. Donated to the Smithsonian American History Museum, the gag file is a physical card catalog containing 52,000 typewritten joke cards the comedian organized by subject. The Smithsonian Transcription Center put these joke cards online, and they were transcribed by the public in just a few weeks. Our event was the first time these transcriptions were used.

Gephi network analysis visualization of the Phyllis Diller Gag file. The circles (or nodes) represent joke authors and their relationship to each other based on their joke subjects.

To encourage immediate access to the data and tools, we spent a significant amount of time readying these four data sets so ready-to-load versions were available. For the MARC records to be amenable for the mapping tool Carto, for example, Wendy Mann, Head of George Mason University Data Services, had to reduce the size of the set, then convert the 1,000 row files to csv using MarcEdit, map the MARC fields as column headings, create load files for MARC fields in each file, and then mass edit column names in OpenRefine so that each field name began with a character as opposed to a number (a Carto requirement).

We also wanted to be transparent about this work so attendees could re-create these workflows after hack-to-learn. We bundled the data sets in their multiple versions of readiness, README files, a list of resources, a list of brainstorming ideas of what possible questions to ask of the data, and install directions for the different tools all in a folder that was available for attendees a week before the event. We invited attendees to join a Slack channel to ask questions or report errors before and during the event, and opened day one with a series of lightning talks about the data sets from content and technical experts.

What Was Learned

Participants were largely librarians, faculty or students from our three partner organizations. 12 seats were opened to the public and quickly filled by librarians, faculty or students from universities or cultural heritage institutions. Based on our registration survey, the majority of participants trended towards little or no experience. Almost half reported experience with OpenRefine, while 44.8% reported having never used any of the tools before. 49.3% wanted to learn about “all” methodologies (data cleaning, text mining, network analysis, etc.), and 46.3% reported interest in specifically text mining.

31.3% of hack-to-learn registrants were curious about computational research and wanted and introduction, and 28.4% were familiar with some tools but not all. 14.9% thought it sounded fun!

Twenty-one attendees responded to our post-event survey. Participants confirmed that collections as data work felt less “intimidating” and the tools more “approachable.” Respondents reported a recognition of untapped potential in their data sets and requested more events of this kind.

“I was able to get results using all the tools, so in a sense everything worked well. Pretty sure my ‘success’ was related to the scale of task I set for myself; I viewed the work time as time for exploring the tools, rather than finishing something.”

Many appreciated the event’s diversity- the diversity of data sets and tools, the mixture of subject matter and technical experts, and the mix between instructional and problem-solving time.

“The tools and datasets were all well-selected and gave a good overview of how they can be used. It was the right mix of easy to difficult. Easy enough to give us confidence and challenging enough to push our skills.”

The Phyllis Diller team works with OpenRefine at Hack-to-Learn, May 17, 2017.

Photo by Shawn Miller.

When asked what could be improved, many felt that identifying what task to do or question to ask of the data set was difficult, and attendees often underestimated the data preparation step. We received suggestions such as adding guided exercises with the tools before independent work and more time for digging deeper into a particular methodology or research question.

“It was at first overwhelming but ultimately hugely beneficial to have multiple tools and multiple data sets to choose from. All this complexity allowed me to think more broadly about how I might use the tools, and having data sets with different characteristics allowed for more experimentation.”

Most importantly, attendees identified what still needed to be learned. Insights from the event related to the limitations of the tools. For example, attendees recognized GUI interfaces were accessible and useful for surface-level investigation of a data set, but command-line knowledge was needed for deeper investigation or in some cases, working with a larger data set. Several participants in the post-event survey showed interest in learning Python as a result.

Recognizing what they didn’t know was not discouraging. In fact, one point we heard from multiple attendees was the desire for more hack-to-learn events.

“If someone were to host occasional half-day or drop-in hack-a-thons with these or other data sets, I would like to try again. I especially appreciate that you were welcoming of people like me without a lot of programming experience … Your explicit invitation to people with *all* levels of experience was the difference between me actually doing this and not doing it.”

We’d like to send a big thank you again to our partners at George Washington and George Mason University Libraries, and to the Smithsonian American History Museum and Smithsonian Transcription Center for you time and resources to make Hack-to-Learn a success! We encourage anyone reading this to consider doing one at your library, and if you do, let us know so we can share it on The Signal!


by Toni Bonitto via DigitalGov

Canadian dollar hits four-month high on firmer oil, softer greenback

Canadian dollar hits four-month high on firmer oil, softer greenback
Reuters Canada - Jun 27, 2017
TORONTO (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar touched its strongest level in four months against the greenback on Tuesday, supported by a crude oil rally and a broadly weaker U.S.
CANADA FX DEBT-C$ hits four-month high on firmer oil, softer greenback - Reuters

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Canadian dollar hits four-month high on firmer oil, softer greenback

TSX climbs 58 points; Canadian dollar surges

TSX climbs 58 points; Canadian dollar surges
Times Colonist - 35 minutes ago
The Canadian dollar was trading at 76.54 cents US, up from Tuesday's average price of 75.83 cents US. The August crude contract advanced 53 cents at US$44.77 per barrel and the August natural gas contract was up four cents at US$3.11 per mmBTU.

by via News for Canadian Dollar - Google Finance
TSX climbs 58 points; Canadian dollar surges

Canadian dollar tops 76 cents US as Poloz comments raise spectre of rate hike

Canadian dollar tops 76 cents US as Poloz comments raise spectre of rate hike
CBC.ca - 3 minutes ago
The Canadian dollar gained three-quarters of a cent and hit its highest level in four months on Wednesday after Canada's central bank head hinted in an interview that rate hikes could be coming sooner rather than later.

by via News for Canadian Dollar - Google Finance
Canadian dollar tops 76 cents US as Poloz comments raise spectre of rate hike

Announcing @TMCnet Named “Media Sponsor” of @CloudExpo Silicon Valley | #AI #ML #Cloud #BigData

SYS-CON Events announced today that TMC has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo and Big Data at Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Global buyers rely on TMC’s content-driven marketplaces to make purchase decisions and navigate markets. Learn how we can help you reach your marketing goals.

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Co-Chairs of @DevOpsSummit Announced | @CAinc @Aruna13 #APM #Serverless #DevOps #AI #DX

Cloud Expo, Inc. has announced today that Andi Mann and Aruna Ravichandran have been named Co-Chairs of @DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo Silicon Valley which will take place Oct. 31-Nov. 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. "DevOps is at the intersection of technology and business-optimizing tools, organizations and processes to bring measurable improvements in productivity and profitability," said Aruna Ravichandran, vice president, DevOps product and solutions marketing, CA Technologies. "It's this results-driven combination of technology and business that makes me so passionate about DevOps and its future in the industry. I am truly honored to take on this co-chair role, and look forward to working with the DevOps Summit team at Cloud Expo and attendees to advance DevOps."

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[session] SAP in the Public Cloud | @CloudExpo @Ocean9inc #Cloud #Analytics #Security

Managing mission-critical SAP systems and landscapes has never been easy. Add public cloud with its myriad of powerful cloud native services and this may not change any time soon. Public cloud offers exciting new possibilities for enterprise workloads. But to make use of these possibilities and capabilities, IT teams need to re-think everything they have done before. Otherwise, they will just end up using public cloud as a hosting platform for their workloads, aka known as “lift and shift.”

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[video] Custom Software Development with @MobiDev_ | @CloudExpo #AI #ML #Cloud #Analytics

"MobiDev is a Ukraine-based software development company. We do mobile development, and we're specialists in that. But we do full stack software development for entrepreneurs, for emerging companies, and for enterprise ventures," explained Alan Winters, U.S. Head of Business Development at MobiDev, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.

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Make Sense of Your Data with Analytics | @BigDataExpo #BI #BigData #Analytics

The reality of data ubiquity is here—data is buried in operational statistics, machine logs, stacks of overflowing tickets and customer details, among other things. How can any user get valuable information amid this rapid influx of data? Imagine a situation where your firm’s revenue takes a hit owing to an unexpected failure in some business process. It would be a nightmare for IT admins to sift through the interminable piles of data to deduce exactly why and where the problem occurred. To save time and their sanity, they need a solution that instantly analyzes data and detects the problem for them.

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[video] Welcome to the Era of Open Analytics | @CloudExpo @ProgressSW #AI #ML #DX #BigData #Analytics

Cloud applications are seeing a deluge of requests to support the exploding advanced analytics market. “Open analytics” is the emerging strategy to deliver that data through an open data access layer, in the cloud, to be directly consumed by external analytics tools and popular programming languages. An increasing number of data engineers and data scientists use a variety of platforms and advanced analytics languages such as SAS, R, Python and Java, as well as frameworks such as Hadoop and Spark. Cloud APIs are commonly designed to support application integration representing a disconnect with the analytics ecosystem. These combined trends create significant demand for a “bring-your-own-analytics” (BYOA) capability for cloud applications.

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NIRA puts .ng's registration at 90000

“Just imagine, a 10 million .ng domain count in Nigeria today, and the multiplier effects on websites development, domain names hosting, content ...
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Capital Facts: The last printed Canadian dollar bill

Capital Facts: The last printed Canadian dollar bill
Ottawa Citizen - 21 minutes ago
Paul Grorge, the curator of the Children's museum, with an old one dollar bill. The picture on the back of the bill is of a logging boat working on the Ottawa river below the parliament buildings.

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Capital Facts: The last printed Canadian dollar bill

Jun 27, 2017

[slides] Amazon's Cloud Billowing into #AI and #IoT | @ThingsExpo @Xopher5 #AWS #IIoT #DX

Amazon started as an online bookseller 20 years ago. Since then, it has evolved into a technology juggernaut that has disrupted multiple markets and industries and touches many aspects of our lives. It is a relentless technology and business model innovator driving disruption throughout numerous ecosystems. Amazon’s AWS revenues alone are approaching $16B a year making it one of the largest IT companies in the world. With dominant offerings in Cloud, IoT, eCommerce, Big Data, AI, Digital Assistants, Robotics, shipping logistics and other emerging technologies, developers and competitors ignore Amazon at their peril.

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[session] The Age of #DigitalTransformation | @CloudExpo @Catchpoint #WebPerf #AI #DX #DevOps

The current age of digital transformation means that IT organizations must adapt their toolset to cover all digital experiences, beyond just the end users’. Today’s businesses can no longer focus solely on the digital interactions they manage with employees or customers; they must now contend with non-traditional factors. Whether it's the power of brand to make or break a company, the need to monitor across all locations 24/7, or the ability to proactively resolve issues, companies must adapt to the new world.

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USD/CAD Canadian Dollar Higher as Oil Price Bounces

USD/CAD Canadian Dollar Higher as Oil Price Bounces
MarketPulse (blog) - 18 minutes ago
The Canadian dollar rose on Tuesday after oil prices rebounded from yesterday's losses and the USD was lower on growth concerns.
USD/CAD - Loonie at 2-Wk. High - Baystreet.ca

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USD/CAD Canadian Dollar Higher as Oil Price Bounces

The Journey to Sharing America’s Code

Crisis Response Using Cloud Computing | @CloudExpo #ML #IoT #M2M #Cloud #FedRAMP

Cloud computing is more than servers and storage. In a crisis situation it can actually be a lifesaver. BlackBerry, in fact, has just become the first cloud-based crisis communication service to receive a Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP) authorization from the United States Government for its AtHoc Alert and AtHoc Connect services. If you’re not familiar with FedRAMP, it is a US government-wide program that provides a standardized approach to security assessment, authorization, and continuous monitoring for cloud products and services. The Blackberry certification was sponsored by the US Federal Aviation Administration.

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[video] The Age of Digital Transformation | @CloudExpo @Catchpoint #WebPerf #AI #DX #DevOps

The current age of digital transformation means that IT organizations must adapt their toolset to cover all digital experiences, beyond just the end users’. Today’s businesses can no longer focus solely on the digital interactions they manage with employees or customers; they must now contend with non-traditional factors. Whether it's the power of brand to make or break a company, the need to monitor across all locations 24/7, or the ability to proactively resolve issues, companies must adapt to the new world.

read more


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[slides] Public Cloud Alternative | @CloudExpo @Cloudistics #DX #DataCenter

You know you need the cloud, but you’re hesitant to simply dump everything at Amazon since you know that not all workloads are suitable for cloud. You know that you want the kind of ease of use and scalability that you get with public cloud, but your applications are architected in a way that makes the public cloud a non-starter. You’re looking at private cloud solutions based on hyperconverged infrastructure, but you’re concerned with the limits inherent in those technologies.

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Jun 26, 2017

TSX closes 3 points lower; Canadian dollar up

TSX closes 3 points lower; Canadian dollar up
Times Colonist - 21 minutes ago
The S&P/TSX composite index shed 3.54 points to 15,316.02, with gold stocks losing an average 0.97 per cent of their worth. The August bullion contract declined $10.00 to US$1,246.40 an ounce.

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TSX closes 3 points lower; Canadian dollar up

[slides] How to Design and Deliver #Microservices | @DevOpsSummit #DevOps

For organizations that have amassed large sums of software complexity, taking a microservices approach is the first step toward DevOps and continuous improvement / development. Integrating system-level analysis with microservices makes it easier to change and add functionality to applications at any time without the increase of risk. Before you start big transformation projects or a cloud migration, make sure these changes won’t take down your entire organization.

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Crude set to cut short the Canadian dollar's best rally of the year

Crude set to cut short the Canadian dollar's best rally of the year
Financial Post - 15 minutes ago
“The Canadian dollar, which had been blithely ignoring the latest sag in crude, has finally awoken to the oil slick,” Bank of Montreal economist Douglas Porter wrote in a note to clients last week.

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Crude set to cut short the Canadian dollar's best rally of the year

USD/CAD Canadian Dollar Higher After US Durable Goods Disappoint

USD/CAD Canadian Dollar Higher After US Durable Goods Disappoint
MarketPulse (blog) - 8 minutes ago
The Canadian dollar started the week gaining versus the US dollar. The comments from Bank of Canada (BoC) policy makers on June 11 had pushed the loonie higher against the greenback, but the Fed turned up the rhetoric last week to even things out.

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USD/CAD Canadian Dollar Higher After US Durable Goods Disappoint

What the loonie's roller coaster ride means for your financial planning

What the loonie's roller coaster ride means for your financial planning
Financial Post - 7 hours ago
It is hard to believe that just four years ago, the loonie was at par. Since then, the Canadian dollar has for the most part been in a downward trend and marked a 10-year low in early 2016 when it dipped below 70 cents.
For loonie bears, oil slump has come at just the right time - The Globe and Mail
USD/CAD Forecast June 25-29 - Forex Crunch

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What the loonie's roller coaster ride means for your financial planning

The Benefits of Hybrid IT | @CloudExpo @SolarWinds #AWS #BigData #AI #DX

Hybrid IT is today’s reality, and while its implementation may seem daunting at times, more and more organizations are migrating to the cloud. In fact, according to SolarWinds 2017 IT Trends Index: Portrait of a Hybrid IT Organization 95 percent of organizations have migrated crucial applications to the cloud in the past year. As such, it’s in every IT professional’s best interest to know what to expect.

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Jun 25, 2017

2017 @ThingsExpo Tracks | #IoT #IIoT #M2M #API #AI #DX #SmartCities #DigitalTransformation

With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing Cloud strategies, now is the perfect time to attend 21st Cloud Expo October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center, CA, and June 12-14, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is on the right path to Digital Transformation.

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[video] @Interoute's Cloud | @CloudExpo #DevOps #SaaS #AI #DX #DigitalTransformation

"When we talk about cloud without compromise what we're talking about is that when people think about 'I need the flexibility of the cloud' - it's the ability to create applications and run them in a cloud environment that's far more flexible,” explained Matthew Finnie, CTO of Interoute, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.

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Jun 24, 2017

[slides] Technical Strategy for #SmartCities | @ThingsExpo #IoT #M2M #DX

No hype cycles or predictions of zillions of things here. IoT is big. You get it. You know your business and have great ideas for a business transformation strategy. What comes next? Time to make it happen. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jay Mason, Associate Partner at M&S Consulting, presented a step-by-step plan to develop your technology implementation strategy. He discussed the evaluation of communication standards and IoT messaging protocols, data analytics considerations, edge-to-cloud technical architecture, IoT platform selection, end-to-end security, enterprise systems integration and monetization techniques.

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[video] Portals and #ContinuousDelivery | @CloudExpo @DellEMC #AI #DevOps

What's the role of an IT self-service portal when you get to continuous delivery and Infrastructure as Code? This general session showed how to create the continuous delivery culture and eight accelerators for leading the change. Don Demcsak is a DevOps and Cloud Native Modernization Principal for Dell EMC based out of New Jersey. He is a former, long time, Microsoft Most Valuable Professional, specializing in building and architecting Application Delivery Pipelines for hybrid legacy, and cloud native applications.

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Pulzze to Exhibit at @CloudExpo CA | @InteractorTeam #IoT #DX #SmartCities

We build IoT infrastructure products - when you have to integrate different devices, different systems and cloud you have to build an application to do that but we eliminate the need to build an application. Our products can integrate any device, any system, any cloud regardless of protocol," explained Peter Jung, Chief Product Officer at Pulzze Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA

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How to Sponsor @CloudExpo | #DevOps #IoT #AI #DX #DigitalTransformation

21st International Cloud Expo, taking place October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy. Meanwhile, 94% of enterprises are using some form of XaaS – software, platform, and infrastructure as a service.

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2017 @CloudExpo Tracks | #DevOps #IoT #DX #FinTech #DigitalTransformation

With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing Cloud strategies, now is the perfect time to attend 21st Cloud Expo October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center, CA, and June 12-14, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is on the right path to Digital Transformation.

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[video] Is Your Cloud Getting Smarter? ‘Power Panel' | @CloudExpo #AI #ML #Cloud

Automation is enabling enterprises to design, deploy, and manage more complex, hybrid cloud environments. Yet the people who manage these environments must be trained in and understanding these environments better than ever before. A new era of analytics and cognitive computing is adding intelligence, but also more complexity, to these cloud environments. How smart is your cloud? How smart should it be? In this power panel at 20th Cloud Expo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists looked at the evolving nature of hybrid cloud, how it affects enterprise IT staffing requirements, and what skills are needed to be successful.

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Announcing @CloudRank "Bronze Sponsor" of @CloudExpo | #AWS #DX #Azure

SYS-CON Events announced today that Cloud Academy named "Bronze Sponsor" of 21st International Cloud Expo which will take place October 31 - November 2, 2017 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Cloud Academy is the industry’s most innovative, vendor-neutral cloud technology training platform. Cloud Academy provides continuous learning solutions for individuals and enterprise teams for Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform, and the most popular cloud computing technologies. Get certified, manage the full lifecycle of your cloud-based resources, and build your knowledge based using Cloud Academy’s expert-created content, comprehensive Learning Paths, and innovative Hands-on Labs.

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Jun 23, 2017

Ramping Up Focus on FedRAMP

After recently celebrating our Fifth Birthday and logo update, the FedRAMP PMO is excited to announce a few more changes to our website in the form of a new blog series and newly created Tips & Cues page.

In the interest of communicating information about how to best work with FedRAMP regularly, we will be introducing a series of multi-part blogs. These series will be published weekly, in addition to any programmatic updates that occur. Our series of blogs will cover the following topics:

  • Understanding FedRAMP
  • Understanding the Readiness Assessment Report (RAR)
  • Tips for working towards an Agency ATO and becoming In Process with an Agency
  • Acquisitions

Additionally, we’re excited to show off our newly created FedRAMP Tips & Cues page. Rather than publishing the Tips & Cues within the Focus on FedRAMP Blog each week, we’ve moved all of the FedRAMP Tips & Cues to this new page. With the Tips & Cues now in one location, they will be more accessible and easier for our stakeholders to search.

If you have ideas about topics for the Focus on FedRAMP Blog or Tips & Cues that it would be helpful for us to cover, please email us.

This post was originally published on the FedRAMP blog.


by Toni Bonitto via DigitalGov

How to Sponsor @ThingsExpo | #DX #IoT #SmartCities #DigitalTransformation

Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 21st Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago. All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices - computers, smartphones, tablets, and sensors - connected to the Internet by 2020. This number will continue to grow at a rapid pace for the next several decades. With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo in Silicon Valley. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be!

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How to Sponsor @DevOpsSummit | #AI #DX #DevOps #Serverless #Monitoring

DevOps at Cloud Expo, taking place October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 21st Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long development cycles that produce software that is obsolete at launch. DevOps may be disruptive, but it is essential.

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Jun 22, 2017

Advice From Digital Thought Leaders

Many know that digital tools have become indispensable for connecting with many audiences—but we also know that what’s available in the digital realm is always changing. So how do you know what tools are best for your purpose? And how do you plan for your organization’s digital future when the pace of change is so rapid? Recently, we asked colleagues what advice they would give for developing a digital media strategy.

Concept image, online marketing word list

Digital Strategy

“The digital future is not tomorrow—it’s here already and if organizations don’t embrace digital tools and solutions and get good at it, they run the danger of getting left behind. [You should] integrate your digital strategy with the organization’s overall strategy. Keep a close watch on where your clients are and build a presence on those platforms to reach and engage them. And be flexible and willing to adapt to new technologies as they become mainstream.”
– Bhupendra Sheoran, Executive Director, YTH

“One piece of advice for organizations who are not yet fully using social media is to develop a strategic plan – even if it’s simple one. That’s one of the first things that needs to happen. You may think that you’re doing it well because you’re using the most popular tool but you have to think about what you’re trying to do within the sphere of digital health, so that you choose your tools based on what you want to do strategically.”
– Cheryl Smith, Associate Medical Director for Clinical Care and Services, AIDS Institute, New York State Department of Health

Digital Tools

“New York state is so large, it can be geographically challenging for providers to participate in training and conferences, so we try to provide as many distance learning tools as possible. We’re providing video conferencing options and looking into virtual reality. Currently, we’re exploring using virtual reality or augmented reality solutions – like Google Cardboard – with our providers to help them learn more before they are face-to-face with patients. It humanizes and maximizes the patient-provider experience.”
– Cheryl Smith, Associate Medical Director for Clinical Care and Services, AIDS Institute, New York State Department of Health

“Through our Clinical Education Initiative, we’re using a variety of digital platforms for education and distance learning, we’re exploring MOOCs [massively open online course] because they allow multiple users to talk and engage about different topics online. Additionally, we’re using short animations as training tools to move away from the traditional classroom setting. We think this will be useful to help people with short attention spans. It’s HIV education but done differently.”
– Beatrice Aladin, Director, Clinical Education & Digital Health Initiatives, AIDS Institute, New York State Department of Health

Facebook Live videos can be amazing. Organizations can post about an upcoming Facebook Live video to drive up interest. Presenters can be interviewed live at conferences, providers can answer commonly asked questions, events can be broadcasted, and advocates can be given access to go live from your page as Live Contributors. [You can:]

  • Join Facebook groups related to advocacy and by and for people living with and affected by HIV;
  • Partner with advocates and people in the community who are active online to spread the word about your organization;
  • Use Facebook ads to reach your audience effectively and inexpensively; and
  • Use video content with captions; and
  • Feature people who are members of the community you are trying to reach.”

– Caroline Watson, Social Justice and Communications Coordinator at HIVE

Future Trends

“When I think about the potential of digital communication in the coming years, I think one of the great health communication opportunities is to reach populations that have been underserved or almost entirely ignored previously. Digital health communication tools can reach that kind of audience, engage them in their care, and sometimes offer tools and resources that wouldn’t even be available without newer tools like mobile apps or social networks.”
– Mike Mackert, Director, Director of UT Center for Health Communication

“Digital, mobile, and social media have great potential for increasing the research and impact of public health and medical interventions, but only if they remain evidence-based, theoretically informed, audience-centered, creatively designed, and sufficiently dosed to result in a level of exposure that has a chance of influencing behaviors. If all of these requirements are not addressed, then digital interventions are not likely to be much more effective than mass-media interventions, which is not very much.”
– Jay M. Bernhardt, Dean, Moody College of Communication, The University of Texas at Austin.

“The prediction I’m most confident in is that we’ll be encountering new and disruptive innovations in media and tech that will affect our field in ways that we haven’t even imagined yet. That said, one of the most important trends will be our increasingly sophisticated use of data, particularly in digital health communications. That will improve our abilities to: reach audiences with relevant messages; tailor digital solutions that not only inform but empower people to change; and establish new performance indicators that will help us continuously optimize our initiatives.”
– Tony Foleno, Senior Vice President, Strategy & Evaluation, The Ad Council

We remain committed to advocating for and participating in the future of digital media, and we know that that many of our partners are also using innovative communication tools.

We want to hear from you. Join the discussion on Facebook and share your ideas.

This post was originally published on the HIV.gov blog.


by Toni Bonitto via DigitalGov

Buffett's Home Capital Bet Helps Spur Rally in Canadian Dollar

Buffett's Home Capital Bet Helps Spur Rally in Canadian Dollar
Bloomberg - 59 minutes ago
Warren Buffett's rescue of beleaguered alternative mortgage lender Home Capital Group Inc. is helping the Canadian dollar outperform all major currencies on Thursday. The loonie rose 0.8 percent to C$1.3233 against the U.S. dollar at 11:37 a.m. in ...

by via News for Canadian Dollar - Google Finance
Buffett's Home Capital Bet Helps Spur Rally in Canadian Dollar

TSX rises in broad-based advance, Canadian dollar slightly up

TSX rises in broad-based advance, Canadian dollar slightly up
Toronto Star - 23 minutes ago
The Canadian dollar was trading at 75.63 cents (U.S.), up from Wednesday's average price of 75.13 cents. The August crude contract was up 59 cents at $43.12 (U.

by via News for Canadian Dollar - Google Finance
TSX rises in broad-based advance, Canadian dollar slightly up

Preparing for the Next Disruption | @CloudExpo #Cloud #DX #FinTech #Blockchain

The dirty little secret, however, is that we are as unable to predict the future as you. None of us really knows what will happen next. The future is made up of an incredibly complex mixture of technologies, possibilities, and events that come together in ways that no one can truly predict. The answer, therefore, is not to attempt to predict the future. But instead, to prepare for an uncertain future by building organizational capabilities that allow you to anticipate and rapidly pivot, respond and react to any change that the market may throw at you.

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Is Your ERP Ready for Digital Transformation? | @CloudExpo #DX #Cloud

Companies have always been concerned that traditional enterprise software is slow and complex to install, often disrupting critical and time-sensitive operations during roll-out. With the growing need to integrate new digital technologies into the enterprise to transform business processes, this concern has become even more pressing. A 2016 Panorama Consulting Solutions study revealed that enterprise resource planning (ERP) projects took an average of 21 months to install, with 57 percent of these projects experiencing timeline overruns. A span of almost two years can be a long time when disruptive change comes in weeks or months rather than years. Any executive that has been around enterprise software implementations knows not only that new systems can take a long time to implement, but can take almost as long to change or update with new technologies.

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Jun 21, 2017

USD/CAD Canadian Dollar Lower After Oil Drops to 10 Month Low

USD/CAD Canadian Dollar Lower After Oil Drops to 10 Month Low
MarketPulse (blog) - 6 hours ago
The Canadian dollar depreciated versus the US dollar on Wednesday as the price of oil continued falling despite a higher than expected drawdown in weekly US crude inventories.
USD/CAD - Crude Oil Report Due This Morning - Baystreet.ca

by via News for Canadian Dollar - Google Finance
USD/CAD Canadian Dollar Lower After Oil Drops to 10 Month Low

Canadian dollar retreats as price of oil sinks to 10-month low

Canadian dollar retreats as price of oil sinks to 10-month low
Reuters Canada - 10 hours ago
TORONTO (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar softened on Wednesday to its weakest close in 1-1/2 weeks against the U.S. dollar as depressed oil prices offset the Bank of Canada's shift to a more hawkish stance.

by via News for Canadian Dollar - Google Finance
Canadian dollar retreats as price of oil sinks to 10-month low

The Data Briefing: The Arrival of Generation Z into the Federal Government. And Generation A?

In the last national election, the earliest born members of Generation Z voted for the first time. In 2019, the American workforce will see the influx of tens of millions of Gen Zers who, according to some researchers, will be a stark contrast to the Millennials that will make the largest part of the 2020 workforce. According to one researcher’s study of Gen Z, this generational group has seven distinguishing traits:

  1. Phigital – To the Gen Zers, the physical and digital worlds have been merged. Ninety-one percent of Gen Zers want to work for technologically-sophisticated organizations.
  2. Hyper-Custom – Gen Zers want to customize everything from the products they buy to the careers they work.
  3. Realistic – The Great Recession of 2008 and 9/11 have taught Gen Z to not take their future for granted.
  4. Fear Of Missing Out – Social media has helped Gen Z to be on top of all trends. However, the acceleration of social media trends leaves Gen Z fearful of missing out on the latest news and events.
  5. WEconomists – Gen Z has grown up with shared economy companies like Uber and Airbnb. Gen Z doesn’t like silos.
  6. DIY – Like Generation X, Generation Z has a strong independent streak.
  7. Driven – This group is very competitive and may not so easily collaborate as Millennials do.

Personally, I approach generational studies with skepticism. However, I am intrigued by the early findings of this researcher. For a good summary of his work, you can listen to this podcast. Other researchers also support the pragmatic and ultra-competitiveness of Gen Z. Of all the research I have read, the research on the digital habits of Gen Z is most intriguing.

“Yes, this generation communicates almost entirely through screens and not always with actual words (GIFs, videos and emoji also do the trick). Gen-Z’ers are less idealistic and more thrifty than millennials, having grown up in the twin shadows of the recession and student debt crisis. When it comes to privacy on social media sites such as Instagram, Snapchat, Tumblr or Twitter, the survey showed that teens are far less guarded than millennials and Gen X members. Members of Gen Z think that everyone should get a smartphone at age 13 and that it is acceptable to use it basically anywhere — at a family dinner, during a religious service, even at weddings (even their own weddings, the survey shows.)”

At the same time, Generation Z is entering the workforce; the workforce is undergoing a major transformation – artificially intelligent (AI) automation. We have seen the increasing use of chatbots and AI robots. There are predictions that AI automation will take away jobs leading to massive unemployment while there are other predictions that AI automation will create new economic opportunities. I believe that some jobs will be lost by AI automation but that may be for the better as it will free up humans to work in creative and more satisfying jobs. What appears to be happening now is the rise of the augmented workforce. In 2017, “41 percent of companies reported they have fully implemented or have made significant progress in adopting cognitive and AI technologies within their workforce” while 34% more companies are beginning to adopt augmentation technologies.

Imagine the intersection of Generation Z (which is the most digitally-ready generation in American history) with “Generation A” (A for augmented, AI, or automated; this is my term for the new augmented workforce). How will the new workplace AI technologies amplify the workforce tendencies of all the generations and especially Generation Z

What does this mean for federal agencies as both trends (Gen Z and Gen A) merge by 2020? How will current federal managers (Baby Boomers, Generation X, and Millennials) adopt to Generation Z behaviors and attitudes? How will federal agencies use augmentation technologies and AI-driven automation in delivering government services? We are only a few short years from 2020 which promises profound changes in the U.S. federal government and for the American public.

Generational markers on a timeline, Gen Z at the front.

olm26250/iStock/Thinkstock

(All references to specific products, brands, and/or companies are used only for illustrative purposes and do not imply endorsement by the U.S. federal government or any federal government agency.)

Each week, The Data Briefing showcases the latest federal data news and trends. Visit this blog every week to learn how data is transforming government and improving government services for the American people. If you have ideas for a topic or have questions about government data, please contact me via email.

Dr. William Brantley is the Training Administrator for the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s Global Intellectual Property Academy. All opinions are his own and do not reflect the opinions of the USPTO or GSA.


by Bill Brantley via DigitalGov

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