SVP Technology at Fiserv; large scale system architecture/infrastructure, tech geek, reading, learning, hiking, GeoCaching, ham radio, married, kids
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RPA competitors battle for a bigger prize: automation everywhere

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Robotic process automation solutions remain one of the most attractive investments for business technology buyers — this despite our overall 2020 tech spending forecasts, which remain at the depressed levels of -4% to -5% for the year. Relative to previous surveys, we do see some softness in traditional RPA strongholds such as large financials, insurance and […]

The post RPA competitors battle for a bigger prize: automation everywhere appeared first on SiliconANGLE.

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JayM
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Atlanta, GA
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Bill Gates on COVID-19: Most US tests are “completely garbage”

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Despite trillions of dollars of economic damage, Bill Gates is optimistic that a strong pipeline of therapies and vaccines will carry the US through the pandemic.

Enlarge / Despite trillions of dollars of economic damage, Bill Gates is optimistic that a strong pipeline of therapies and vaccines will carry the US through the pandemic. (credit: Jeff Pachoud | Getty Images)

For 20 years Bill Gates has been easing out of the roles that made him rich and famous—CEO, chief software architect, and chair of Microsoft—and devoting his brain power and passion to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, abandoning earnings calls and antitrust hearings for the metrics of disease eradication and carbon reduction. This year, after he left the Microsoft board, one would have thought he would have relished shedding the spotlight directed at the four CEOs of big tech companies called before Congress.

But as with many of us, 2020 had different plans for Gates. An early Cassandra who warnedof our lack of preparedness for a global pandemic, he became one of the most credible figures as his foundation made huge investments in vaccines, treatments, and testing. He also became a target of the plague of misinformation afoot in the land, as logorrheic critics accused him of planning to inject microchips in vaccine recipients. (Fact check: false. In case you were wondering.)

My first interview with Gates was in 1983, and I’ve long lost count of how many times I’ve spoken to him since. He’s yelled at me (more in the earlier years) and made me laugh (more in the latter years). But I’ve never looked forward to speaking to him more than in our year of Covid. We connected on Wednesday, remotely of course. In discussing our country’s failed responses, his issues with his friend Mark Zuckerberg’s social networks, and the innovations that might help us out of this mess, Gates did not disappoint. The interview has been edited for length and clarity.

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JayM
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'Ultima' Fandom Is Still Going Strong

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Need proof? 'Spam Spam Spam Humbug,' a podcast dedicated to the computer role-playing games, is now in its fifth year.
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JayM
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Ultimate was awesome.
Atlanta, GA
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Review: Odyssey X86J4105, a mini-PC for makers and builders

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Today we're going to take a look at Seeed Studio's Odyssey X86J4105—a maker/builder-tailored, Celeron-powered mini-PC. The little device seems like what you'd get if a Chromebox and a Raspberry Pi made sweet, sweet love—it's a Celeron-powered all-in-one system-on-chip (SoC) board, sold without a case, with Raspberry Pi-compatible GPIO headers and an Arduino coprocessor for more hardware-based maker projects.

I have a confession to make: I've never really loved the Raspberry Pi. Heresy, I know! But despite how seriously cheap the much-loved little boxes are, they never seem quite powerful enough for the projects I'd be interested in tackling. On occasion, I've flirted with other ARM mini-PCs that are a little more expensive and a lot more powerful—like Odroid XU4, or the newer Odroid N2—but they still felt pretty constrained compared to even budget x86 PCs. The Odyssey seems tailor-made to address those performance concerns.

Specifications and capabilities

Specs at a glance: Odyssey X86J4105
OS Windows 10 Enterprise (activated)
CPU Quad-core Celeron J4105
RAM 8GiB LPDDR4
GPU integrated Intel UHD 600
Wi-Fi Dual-band Intel 9650 Wi-Fi 5 + Bluetooth 5.0
SSD Sandisk 64GB (59.6GiB) eMMC
Connectors
  • 40-pin Raspberry Pi-compatible GPIO
  • 28-pin Arduino header
  • 3.5mm audio combo jack
  • 2x Intel I211 1Gbps Ethernet
  • 1x SATA
  • 2x M.2 (1 B-key, 1 M-key)
  • 2x USB2 type-A
  • 1x USB3.1 type-A
  • 1x USB 3.1 type-C
  • 1x MicroSD card slot
  • 1x SIM (LTE) slot
  • 1x 12-19VDC power
Price as tested Odyssey with activated Win10 Enterprise: $258
Seeed re_computer case: $20

Odyssey's quad-core Celeron SoC might not be a powerhouse by desktop standards—but it's more than powerful enough to run a full Windows 10 desktop experience. Add in 8GiB of RAM, 64GB eMMC storage, one SATA-III port, two 1Gbps Ethernet jacks, dual M.2 slots (one B-key and one M-key), Intel 9560 Wi-Fi, Intel UHD 600 graphics and a full-size HDMI port, and it's hard to figure out what this $260 box can't do.

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JayM
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Facebook formally open-sourced Pysa, a static analyzer tool for Python code, which detected 44% of all security bugs in Instagram's server-side code in H1 2020 (Catalin Cimpanu/ZDNet)

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Catalin Cimpanu / ZDNet:
Facebook formally open-sourced Pysa, a static analyzer tool for Python code, which detected 44% of all security bugs in Instagram's server-side code in H1 2020  —  In the first half of 2020, Pysa detected 44% of all security bugs in Instagram's server-side Python code.

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JayM
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Nice
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Distributed Systems Pattern: High-Water Mark

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Unmesh adds High-Water Mark to his collection of patterns. The high-water mark is an index into the log file that records the last log entry that is known to have successfully replicated to a Quorum of followers. The leader also passes on the high-water mark to its followers during its replication. All servers in the cluster should only transmit data to clients that reflects updates that are below the high-water mark.

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JayM
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