Staffing IT for Emerging Technologies

first_imgAs CIOs contemplate the “Cloud” migration tsunami, they’re faced with a unique challenge: how to transition their current operating model to the next generation. The reaction of many is to bring in new people as subject matter experts (SMEs) to help drive and manage the change. This can be seen as a way to increase adoption and lower risk; however, the opposite may be more of the truth in the stark reality of the modern IT operation.The standardization of hardware and software has facilitated the massive growth of application and the huge demand on IT eco-systems, which is continuing to accelerate. However, the primary function of any IT group is to drive value for the business. There are many examples:Mobile applications for health care allows doctors and patients to communicate more effectivelyMobile banking created an entire generation that hardly ever goes to the bank, they simply take a picture of their checks to deposit fundsSocial Media applications (Twitter, Facebook, etc.) did not exist a decade ago, but now few of us can say we are not usersThe implications moving ahead are even more revolutionary. Consider the affect of Near Field Communications (NFC) on retail promotions when coupled with instant real-time predictive business intelligence (BI) functions. I can see a world where retailers ensure that consumers are presented with deals on products specific to their needs as they roam a retail store floor or use a search engine. Have you noticed that the signage inside of many stores is now digital and wireless?So how does this tie back to the staffing of IT? Simple. The IT staff that has worked with and understands the CIO’s business has the institutional knowledge of what the company does to actually drive revenue and create value. It’s easier to train this team on new methods and processes to understand the new operational model than train a new group on the institutional knowledge. So if the investment is made to enable the team to understand the new model, and the new path for advancement is clear, then gaining the trust and support of this team will not only facilitate that change to a converged and standardized platform, but will help accelerate and expand adoption.As a team is evaluated, and skills are considered, some of the transitions that make sense are:Moving to an agile team development method – This will help shorten the time to deploy a new application, while building skills that will enable easier adoption of converged infrastructure.Building an infrastructure team – This team would provide leadership and SME resources as a group, across network, storage, compute and virtualization practices. Moving away from management of each function in a silo will help deliver application platforms that focus on the end user consumption, not solely focused on discrete components.Building a self-service team – This is the team that will assist developers and business leaders in the allocation and launching of new application platforms. They should consider the applicability of target platforms and work as business consultants to assess short-term needs and long term costs. This team can act as facilitators when self-service portals are available.Form a strategic direction team – Create a team to understand and build metrics for overall application performance. These are essential metrics as application platforms evolve and adopt software defined networking on converged infrastructure. This team will need to understand how to manage application performance, and likely will be helping to drive standards with the agile teams.The message is clear. The institutional knowledge of your existing staff is key to the success of the business. This knowledge often takes years to fully appreciate. In adopting new systems and technologies, do not discount this understanding. Augment staff with change agents and additional SMEs, but invest in strategic resources to help them leverage the new platforms with their in-depth knowledge of the business. Using converged infrastructure systems as the basis for a company’s internal platforms enables knowledgeable, key resources to focus on driving these teams and adding business value, rather than keeping the lights on.last_img read more


‘Green’ Halloween

first_imgBy Aaron LancasterUniversity of GeorgiaThinking “green” on the orange-and-black holiday isn’t always ourfirst notion. But Halloween doesn’t have to be a parade ofplastic decorations headed for crowded landfills. It can remindus of easy ways we can reduce waste year-round.Community costumes. Rather thanbuy a costume your child (or you)will wear once and throw away, make one out of clothes youalready have. Thrift stores and yard sales often have low-costclothing and items suitable for costumes, too. And after theholiday, donate usable clothes and accessories to day carecenters, schools or community theaters.Bag it. Decorate paper grocerysacks with nontoxic paint tocreate your own trick-or-treat bags. Or use canvas bags,pillowcases or reusable buckets to collect goodies year afteryear.Bio decor. Nature intended forapples to be eaten. But you cantransform any you didn’t eat into spooky shrunken heads for yourholiday decor. All you need are some apples, whole cloves, a fewgrains of rice, a cup of lemon juice and 2 teaspoons of salt.Peel the apples, and coat them with the lemon juice and salt toprevent them from browning. Then carefully carve a face into thefruit with a peeler or knife. Insert cloves into the carved eyesocket to make beady eyes. Rice creates the teeth.Put the apples somewhere dry and warm for one to two weeks, andwatch them shrink and distort. If time is short, put them in anoven at a very low temperature.Reduce, Reuse, Redecorate. ReuseHalloween decorations from yearto year. Properly storing decorations not only reduces waste andsaves money, but also preserves the personal value steeped inthese items.Keep it simple. Choose Halloweentreats that use the least amountof packaging or useable items like pencils, pens, small toys orcoins.Teach your children well. Candywrappers often litterneighborhoods after Halloween. Litter is ugly. It’s costly toclean up, too, and could cause ecologically important creaturesto die needlessly after mistakenly eating plastic and other trash.Enjoy the season. Walk, ride abike or use public transportationto Halloween parties or trick-or-treating. If you have to drive,carpool to help reduce traffic and air pollution.Eco-Lanterns. Use rechargeablebatteries to power flashlights,lanterns and decorations to reduce the amount of harmfulmaterials you throw away. They will save money in the long run.Even better are hand-crank and magnetic flashlights, which don’tneed batteries at all. You can order them from catalogs.Discarded batteries produce most of the heavy metals found inhousehold trash. Lead, arsenic, zinc, cadmium, copper and mercurycan be harmful to humans and wildlife.Great Pumpkin. Pumpkin seeds fromjack-o’-lanterns create a tastysnack for two- and four-legged critters alike. Carefully washpumpkin seeds to remove the clinging, fibrous pumpkin tissue. Setthem outside in a sunny place to feed wildlife.For humans, dry pumpkin seed treats in the sun, a dehydrator (1to 2 hours at 115-120 degrees Fahrenheit) or an oven (on “warm”for 3 to 4 hours). Stir them often to avoid scorching them.Once the seeds are dry, toss them with oil, salt and otherseasonings. Roast them in a preheated oven at 250 degrees for 10to 15 minutes.Hollowed-out pumpkins filled with ears of Indian corn, seeds,apple cores and skins and cleaned pumpkin seeds make a festivefeast for wildlife.After Halloween. Recycle pumpkins,shrunken apple heads, strawused for scarecrows, hay bales and any other organic material incompost piles.Compost improves the texture and quality of poor soils whilereducing waste. Backyard bins are much more efficient thanbagging leaves for collection.Contact your county Extension Service to learn more aboutcomposting. Or check the on-line publication at Lancaster is a Bibb County Extension agent with theUniversity of Georgia College of Agricultural and EnvironmentalSciences.)last_img read more


03 Resistant vegetables

first_imgAt times, this disease has made growing garden tomatoes seemalmost insurmountable. It affects other crops, too, most notablybell peppers.Many people have become all too familiar with the symptoms. Youngleaves usually turn bronze and later develop small, dark spots.The growing tips of the tomato die back, and stems of terminalsmay become streaked. Some plants may look one-sided or may bestunted.Plants that are infected early usually don’t develop fruit. Thoseinfected later may produce fruit that’s knotty. The more maturefruit may have light ring spots, and green fruit may have bumpyareas with faint, concentric rings that become easier to see asthey mature, turning red and white or red and yellow.Basically, you just don’t get tomatoes from infected plants.Pepper symptoms are slightly different.The culpritThe virus is spread by tiny insects, thrips, as they feed on theplant. And you can’t control enough to prevent infection, becausethe virus has already spread by the time residual insecticidesprays kill the thrips. The virus has many other hosts, too. Itcan survive in many weeds and crops such as peanuts and tobacco.Commercial growers have more tools to reduce TSWV than gardenershave. So how can you grow tomatoes (or peppers) when the virus ispresent?As with almost any virus, the best control is to use resistantvarieties.Some resistant varieties have been on the market for a few years.Not all are available to gardeners, though, since the seeds ofsome can be bought only in large quantities.More options are becoming available to gardeners now, though. Theseeds of at least seven tomato and two pepper varieties now comein smaller quantities for gardeners.Virus fightersResistant varieties in garden catalogs include “Amelia,” “BHN444,” “BHN 640,” “Bella Rosa,” “Top Gun,” “Crista” and “Muriel.”Muriel is a Roma-type tomato.”Excursion II” and “Heritage” are available pepper varieties.Some sources of these seeds include Harris Seeds (,Twilley Seed ( and RuppSeeds ( way to get resistant varieties is to look for seedlingsat your favorite garden center. Seedling plants of thesevarieties, however, may not be easy to find.You may need to look for them, too, under a different varietyname. “Southern Star” is one such variety.One drawback to these varieties is that they probably won’t havequite the flavor of your favorite old garden variety. They werebred for commercial production and shipping. Let them get ripe onthe vine, though, and they’ll be fine.Grow your ownGrowing your own transplants from seed is the best way to makesure you have TSWV-resistant plants. You may want to join withnearby gardeners to grow enough for several people.It’s probably not too late to order seed and get started. Thesevarieties can ease the challenge of growing tomatoes (andpeppers) in the home garden.Another thing that may help control the virus is to use black orreflective plastic mulches. Aluminum foil might be a suitablesubstitute, since these reflective mulches are expensive and hardto find. Even straw mulches may help a little.Keeping garden weeds under control may help, too, since they maybe a host for the disease.(Terry Kelley is a Cooperative Extension horticulturist withthe University of Georgia College of Agricultural andEnvironmental Sciences.) By William Terry KelleyUniversity ofGeorgiaAmong the things that keep gardening interesting are eachseason’s new challenges. Some, however, can turn intofrustration. Tomato spotted wilt virus, for instance, has becomethe plaque of many gardeners over the past few years. Volume XXXINumber 1Page 3last_img read more


Moody’s: Munis, Co-Ops Face Major Risks From Coal Plant Closures

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Washington Examiner:Credit ratings giant Moody’s is warning that a big chunk of the nation’s electric utilities are at risk…because of the transition toward renewable energy, which is occurring despite President Trump’s decision to pull the U.S. out of the Paris climate change agreement.The report, issued Tuesday, says not-for-profit public power and cooperative utilities, which generate and transmit electricity, are facing “rising risks” from the transition to less carbon dioxide-emitting power plants, because they own most of the coal plants across rural America.The company has begun examining the effects of climate policy on the utility sector through the lens of the Paris Agreement. Moody’s found that Trump’s withdrawal from the accord a year ago will be limited because of “customer preferences and technology trends.”In addition, utilities “have consciously transitioned towards cleaner generation, even in states politically opposed to carbon regulations, because of low natural gas prices and the declining cost of renewables,” the report found.Nevertheless, the biggest risk to publicly owned utilities comes if they shut down their coal plants but still have to pay for them.The report says the public utilities and co-ops are facing the same challenges that their for-profit counterparts are facing, driven by a combination of state and local policies and customer preferences. But public power and co-ops don’t have the resources to move as quickly to build more low-carbon renewable energy resources and are much more dependent on coal because of their locations.More: Electric Utilities At Risk From Climate Goals Despite Paris Exit, Moody’s Says Moody’s: Munis, Co-Ops Face Major Risks From Coal Plant Closureslast_img read more


Time to start thinking about interest rate rises: Aegon

first_imgHe said interest rates were unlikely to increase to the level of past decades, but could climb to 1.5% or 2%. The main interest rate for the euro-zone has been 0% since March 2016.Tuch said almost 80% of German government bonds and more than 60% of Dutch government bonds traded against a negative rate. He added that he didn’t expect a profit could be made on government paper during “the coming years”, and argued that Germany’s low interest rate was “simply unsustainable”.The average duration of government bonds was increasing, Tuch added, with some governments issuing paper with an extremely long duration – sometimes 100 years.“Most pension funds will be exposed to this development through their index portfolio,” he added.According to Tuch, interest rates on credit and high yield bonds were also at historic lows, with owners also not prepared for a rate increase.In his opinion, pension funds should consider replacing their liquid bonds with illiquid fixed income investments.“These aren’t bought by the ECB, have a lower bubble potential, and deliver extra returns,” he argued.Tuch cited residential mortgages as an alternative, “as they produce considerably better returns than Dutch government bonds against an acceptable risk-return ratio”.Illiquid corporate loans as well as loans with a government guarantee would also be an alternative to government bonds, he said.Aegon was anticipating the ECB’s policy by going short on Italian interest-rate derivatives and regularly taking profits, Tuch said.Aegon had also cautiously switched to an underweight duration for government bonds, relative to the benchmark. He recommended pension funds follow this example and cash in when interest rates rise.Tuch also suggested that pension funds revise their interest rate hedges, arguing that central clearing of derivatives – as required by EMIR regulations – had “important advantages” relative to bilateral swaps. He said that Aegon AM had already fully switched to central clearing. However, he didn’t elaborate on the advantages.The last time the ECB raised its main interest rate was in 2011, when the rate increased by 25 basis points in April and July, reaching 1.5%. However, it was forced to reverse this move by the end of the year as several euro-zone economies struggled to pay off debt. Pension funds should start considering the impact of an interest rate rise and instruct their asset managers to make adjustments, according to Aegon Asset Management.Without changes, interest rate increases would cause considerable damage to schemes’ portfolios of euro-denominated government bonds, warned Hendrik Tuch, head of interest and money markets at Aegon AM.Speaking at the annual congress of IPE’s Dutch sister publication PensioenPro in Amsterdam last week, he said rates were likely to rise as a consequence of the European Central Bank (ECB) reducing its quantitative easing policy.According to Tuch, Aegon AM expected that the ECB would signal its intentions after the summer. Government bond yields would rise later this year as a result.last_img read more


IOC sanctions Bilgin of Turkey for failing anti-doping tests at London 2012

first_img Loading… As part of this process, the International Olym[ic Committee, IOC, has announced that Erol Bilgin, 33, of Turkey has been disqualified from the Olympic Games London 2012. Bilgin, 33, competing in the men’s 62kg weightlifting event at the Olympics, in which he ranked 8th, has been sanctioned. Re-analysis of Bilgin’s samples from London 2012 resulted in a positive test for the prohibited substances Dehydrochlormethyltestosterone (Oral Turinabol) and Stanozolol. The IOC Disciplinary Commission, composed for this case of Messrs Denis Oswald (Chairman), Juan Antonio Samaranch and Ingmar De Vos, decided the following: I.The athlete, Erol Bilgin: found to have committed an anti-doping rule violation pursuant to the IOC Anti-Doping Rules applicable to the Games of the XXX Olympiad in London in 2012 (presence, and/or use, of a Prohibited Substance or its Metabolites or Markers in an athlete’s bodily specimen), disqualified from the event in which he participated upon the occasion of the Olympic Games London 2012, namely the men’s 62kg weightlifting event, in which he ranked 8th and for which he was awarded a diploma, iii.has the diploma obtained in the men’s 62kg weightlifting event withdrawn and is ordered to return the same. II.The IWF is requested to modify the results of the above-mentioned event accordingly and to consider any further action within its own competence. III.The Turkish Olympic Committee shall ensure full implementation of this decision. IV.The Turkish Olympic Committee shall notably secure the return to the IOC, as soon as possible, of the diploma awarded in connection with the men’s 62kg weightlifting event to the athlete V.The decision enters into force immediately. Protection of clean athletes and the fight against doping are top priorities for the International Olympic Committee (IOC), as outlined in Olympic Agenda 2020, the IOC’s strategic roadmap for the future of the Olympic Movement. The IOC has been conducting additional analyses on the samples collected from the Olympic Games London 2012. This programme, which uses the latest scientific analysis methods, aims to test samples for all the substances prohibited in 2012. read also:NOC sheds light on IOC palliative The IOC has delegated the selection of samples to be reanalysed and the results management to the International Testing Agency (ITA), and the ITA thus brings forward these cases. The notification sent by the ITA to the athletes concerned when initiating proceedings gives them the choice to have their case heard before the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) or before an IOC Disciplinary Commission. This choice is given as the Anti-Doping Rules (ADR) for the Olympic Games London 2012 still apply for cases that arise from the current reanalyses. In the case at hand, the athlete did not choose to go to the CAS, and so the case was automatically handled by the IOC Disciplinary Commission. FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 center_img Promoted Content10 Risky Jobs Some Women Do5 Of The World’s Most Unique Theme ParksBirds Enjoy Living In A Gallery Space Created For ThemWho’s The Best Car Manufacturer Of All Time?The 90s Was A Fantastic Decade For Fans Of Action MoviesYou’ve Only Seen Such Colorful Hairdos In A Handful Of AnimeWhich Country Is The Most Romantic In The World?Everything You Need To Know About Asteroid ArmageddonPortuguese Street Artist Creates Hyper-Realistic 3D GraffitiThe 10 Best Secondary Education Systems In The WorldThe Models Of Paintings Whom The Artists Were Madly In Love With9 Facts You Should Know Before Getting A Tattoolast_img read more